Monday, September 22, 2014

Jays’ manager search progressing

TORONTO—Toronto Blue Jays’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos has had a full plate over the last few weeks.
His off-season is about to get even busier.

Anthopoulos, who’s in Indian Wells, Calif. for this week’s general managers’ meetings, has been working on finding a replacement for manager John Farrell.
The Toronto GM wouldn’t reveal names or the number of candidates he has interviewed, but said the process is moving along.
“Yeah, I think we’re closer,” Anthopoulos said in a phone interview. “I think each day we get closer.
“We’re certainly not there yet,” he stressed. “I think things are obviously going to slow up for the three days or so during the GM meetings and then they’ll pick back up.
“But I definitely think we’re getting closer overall.
“It’s not going to be rushed, but I think overall we’re on a pretty good pace,” he added.
The Blue Jays and Red Sox agreed to a transaction last month that allowed Farrell to leave with one year left on his three-year contract.
The Red Sox sent infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto and obtained reliever David Carpenter in the deal.
Anthopoulos then shipped Aviles to the Cleveland Indians last week, along with infielder Yan Gomes, for right-handed reliever Esmil Rogers.
It could be the first of many moves involving the Blue Jays’ pitching staff.
Changes to the starting rotation also are expected.
“Anybody we think can help to improve the rotation, we’re going to do it,” Anthopoulos vowed.
“Whether it’s free agency or trade, or even trading someone from the current group.”
The Toronto starters were hammered by injuries this season.
Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Drew Hutchinson all missed significant chunks of the campaign. Ace Ricky Romero had an off-year and recently underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery.
The injury woes didn’t help the over-worked bullpen, which had to deal with serious injuries to closer Sergio Santos and Luis Perez.
Toronto used 12 different starting pitchers and a franchise-high 54 different players over the course of the season.
Some of the big pitching names out there include Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, and Dan Haren.
It’s unclear whether the Blue Jays will be able to offer the dollars and contract length that might be required to land a top free agent. They might be forced to put a top prospect into the mix and go the trade route.
Rather than targeting a specific number of needed starters, Anthopoulos wants to provide more overall depth to the rotation as a whole.

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