1:15pm: Shapiro announced LaCava as the interim GM at today’s press conference and said there’s no timetable yet for finding a permanent solution for the position (links to Twitter via Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson Smith).
12:24pm: The Blue Jays will name assistant general manager Tony LaCava the team’s interim general manager, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun first reported this weekend. The Blue Jays are holding a press conference today to formally announce president Mark Shapiro today, so it seems likely that LaCava will be announced as the GM — at least on a temporary basis — today as well.
Toronto’s GM position was vacated last week when now-former GM Alex Anthopoulos turned down a new contract and resigned due to reported differences with incoming president Mark Shapiro. Blue Jays ownership also reportedly promised Shapiro full authority over player personnel decisions, meaning Anthopoulos’ extension essentially came along with a demotion in terms of his standing within the organization.
As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi writes today, LaCava’s ties to Shapiro date back to 2002, when he served as a national cross-checker with Cleveland during Shapiro’s time as general manager there. LaCava joined the Blue Jays’ front office that October as a special assistant to then-GM J.P. Ricciardi. He was named assistant GM in 2007 and has since gained traction as a GM candidate around the league, interviewing for the Angels’ GM vacancy this summer. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel reminds that LaCava, a Pittsburgh native, interviewed for the Pirates’ GM job in 2007 before Neal Huntington was hired (Twitter link).
The Jays face many questions this offseason, including whether or not to exercise R.A. Dickey’s $12MM club option or pay him a $1MM buyout — they’re reportedly planning to exercise it — and whether or not to make a qualifying offer to Marco Estrada, as Davidi notes. However, the Blue Jays are also faced with the possibility of having to fill three rotation spots if Estrada and David Price depart and Mark Buehrle retires, as many expect. Both Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna, who came through the minors as starters, are options, but shifting one or both to the rotation will create holes in the ’pen and raise 2016 innings concerns.