MLBTR's list of general manager candidates introduced 20 people who were identified by their peers as potential Major League GMs. We’re bringing you closer to the candidates with a series of pieces. Today the series continues with Blue Jays executive Tony LaCava.
If Tony LaCava becomes a general manager, he probably won’t have a particularly hard time assembling a front office. The Blue Jays’ vice president of baseball operations and assistant General Manager has also worked for the Angels, Braves, Expos and Indians in his two-plus decades in MLB front offices and is known by his peers as someone who’s personable and well-connected.
LaCava has interviewed for GM jobs in Pittsburgh and Seattle in the past and some say it’s a matter of when, not if he becomes a GM. He oversees player development and Latin American operations for the Blue Jays, who have one of the top-ranked farm systems in the game. That kind of experience could tempt owners who are interested in replicating Toronto’s aggressive model of talent acquisition.
LaCava started his MLB career as a scout for the Angels in 1989, eventually becoming a cross-checker for them before moving on to Atlanta, Montreal and Cleveland. He remains an active scout to this day - part of his job with the Blue Jays involves evaluating possible trade candidates and reporting back to Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
While working with the Expos, LaCava became acquainted with advanced metrics through contact with Baseball Prospectus writers. As a result, he doesn’t shy away from including advanced stats like xFIP and BABIP in his analysis of a player.
A couple of years ago, it appeared that the Nationals might make LaCava their GM, but it turned out to be a false alarm. The next time you hear similar rumors, they could very well come true.