Interview with Toronto GM: What’s Next?
The Blue Jays have been busy to start this offseason, dealing away Prince Fielder, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Brandon Phillips, to name a few. Management was not happy with missing the playoffs last season, calling it a disaster of a season, and stating to their fans that it won’t happen again.
I was able to contact general manager Dave Lockar, and he was gracious enough to give us an interview. The full transcript of the interview is below.
Toronto Sun: Thank you for taking time out of your busy day Mr. Lockar.
Dave Lockar: It’s my pleasure.
TS: I hear management was coming down hard on you to cut your payroll. Is that what led to the trade of Prince Fielder, and others?
DL: Quite frankly, that was the main motive to these trades. [Owner] Alan Horn was nice enough to allow us to operate at a deficit last season to try and win our second straight championship, but he made it clear that if it happened again, I would no longer have a job. [Scouting director] Dan and I worked quickly to get out of this hole, and try and retain as much talent as possible. We’re very pleased with every deal we’ve made so far.
TS: Next was arbitration, where you lost the majority of the cases. How tough was that?
DL: Not tough at all. We’re very happy to have these players in our organization, and each of them will contribute at some point in the season. Having a bit more cash for free agency would have been nice, but we’re not upset.
TS: The most notable free agents that elected free agency were Joel Hanrahan, Carlos Marmol, and Chris Carpenter. How close were you to retaining all three?
DL: Unfortunately, we knew we couldn’t keep all three. It would have been nice, but we would have been living in fantasy land. Joel’s demand was too high for us, so we mutually agreed to let him test the open market. Carlos and Chris however wanted to remain a part of this great organization, so we went to work on a deal for each of them. Without getting into the financials, we came close to signing both of them, but we couldn’t iron out the final details. Expect us to keep in touch with them, as they might return as Blue Jays before spring training.
TS: Is there anyone in free agency that you would like to sign?
DL: We have a few players that we will keep our eye on. I’m not going to get into who, but expect us to sign at least one free agent this winter.
TS: Justin Verlander is the only notable player not signed for 2015. What is the plan with him?
DL: Justin and I have just opened discussions on a new deal. He has expressed a great desire to remain in Toronto. We know he’s a fan favourite, and he’s a true ace, so hopefully we can keep him in Toronto for a few more seasons.
TS: And what if a deal doesn’t get put together?
DL: We’re not worrying about that at all right now. If Justin can help this team win, and help us win a championship, which we believe he can do, he will remain a part of the Blue Jays organization.
TS: Was it true you were close to dealing Verlander to Kansas City?
DL: We were close to dealing Verlander to a lot of teams, but ultimately, we knew he would be more valuable to our team, no matter the return.
TS: Rumour has it you have received multiple calls on McAllister. Is that true?
DL: McAllister’s name has came up in many trade talks. Once again, we’ll do what is best for our organization, and right now, that’s keeping McAllister. Don’t expect many big trades from us until free agents start to sign with some teams.
TS: Thank you for your time, Dave. All the best to you this offseason, and we look forward to seeing the Blue Jays in the playoffs next season.
DL: Thanks for having me. I’m sure we’ll talk again soon.