The Jays will hire John Gibbons for the second time to manage the suddenly exciting team. Gibbons was previously the manager from 2004-2008 and in his time at the helm showed a strong grasp of lefty-righty match ups and a dislike for the bunt. He will likely be ready for the off season parade of stars planned for the morning. Anthopoulos never fails to surprise the baseball world with the right move out of left field.
Batter’s Box Interactive Magazine: An Interview with Doug Davis – the Minor League Field Coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays – September 2012
Davis answers Gerry McDonald’s questions on a wide range of topics including a pair of middle infielders eligible for the Rule 5 draft in 2012 in shortstops Ryan Goins and Kevin Nolan. Christopher Hawkins who stumbled in 2012 after moving to full-season ball at Lansing and Kellen Sweeney who struggled all year before heating up near the end are discussed as well. Davis also discussed the development of SS Christian Lopes (who he called a “natural hitter”), OF Dwight Smith (like Lopes, Davis also described Smith as a “natural hitter” who just did not get results in 2012), DJ Davis (very athletic but raw with the potential to be an impact player), OF Jacob Anderson (who should improve with physical maturity), C Santiago Nessy, (who could contribute on both sides of the plate) and LHP Daniel Norris (who struggled in 2012 but because of the experience should be well-positioned in 2013).
Davis also quickly updates the status of a pair of injured players: Travis d’Arnaud (who Davis says was just starting baseball activities which involved him keeping up with his throwing without involving his injured knee) and AJ Jimenez (who’s recovery from Tommy John is going well though he has not begun throwing again).
AA spoke with Mike Richards of TSN Radio and did not say much more than he already has this fall. The team has needs in the starting rotation and it will look to address them first either through free agency or trade. The rest of the off season could hinge upon the team’s success in acquiring a quality piece for the rotation early in the sweepstakes and therefore the team will be uber-aggro as the market opens up.
Speaking about the off-season, the GM is eager to get going, explaining that the front office “had a meeting this past week, just with respect to free agency, and also trade scenarios. There’s no doubt about it, the first domino to fall for us is to add to the starting rotation. We have needs beyond that, but it starts there, and if that does not get done, we’re not going to go anywhere. So that’s got to get done, one way or the other. We’ve looked pretty hard at the free agents– we’ve done some comparisons and so on– we’ve tried to see where we might line up with teams in terms of trades, and who might be available. There’s a few names that are out there that are available that aren’t out in the mainstream media– because obviously clubs want to keep that quiet. So, that’s really the first thing that we’re going to try to get done fast– if we can be aggressive, and get one starter in some capacity early, that would be great. You can’t dictate the time frame, but we’re definitely going to try to move fast.”
It will be interesting to see if the Jays actually do acquire an under-the-radar name when the market opens or if AA was merely positioning in order to retain some leverage with this year’s class of free agent starting pitchers. After all, he’s basically declared the Jays are willing to pay, even overpay, for starting pitching this offseason (though he doesn’t believe he’s said too much because he felt like it was pretty obvious).
Gregor Chisholm’s coverage of Alex Anthopoulos’ season-ending news conference in which he discusses the team’s need for “quality” starting pitching, the ability to target a wider variety of players this offseason including free agents, the increased payroll that will be available, the ability to overpay for a free agent when it meets a specific need, and the need for a high on-base/good contact bat to complement the power hitters currently on the roster.
Here is Alex Anthopoulos’ final news conference of the season. I apologize in advance for a typo here and there. I wanted to post this tonight but also have articles in the works for the main site but it has been a bit rushed. Instead of waiting any longer, though, he’s Anthopoulos:
Top priority this offseason?
“The starting rotation. A lot of where our team goes is going to be predicated on what we do with the rotation, it’s clear we have needs there, especially with the guys that were injured, they are not going to be ready for the start of the year or even the middle of the year. That’s definitely going to be a major area of our concentration in the off-season.”
Leadership an issue?
“It could be a combination of things, people define it in so many different ways, there are so many examples of it…
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Just when you thought you knew everything about your ninja-based hero GM, he goes and surprises you by picking up a bass guitar and throwin’ down on Sweet Home Chicago with his buddy. Judging by the hair and the outfits, it was the nifty 90s.
Great interview with AA by Drew F at Getting Blanked. We get a look at the thought processes of the man behind the mask.
Jared Macdonald of JaysJournal.com interviewed Tony LaCava at the Lugnuts game on May 7th, 2012 and the piece contains a glimpse into the strategies of the Toronto Blue Jays’ front office. LaCava discusses amongst other things: the piggy-backing system employed in Lansing to coax a full-season out of their young arms, the MLB-quality pitches he believes Justin Nicolino already possesses and a number of tidbits about younger, less talked about prospects like Adonys Cardona and Griffin Murphy.