KC Royals Rene Francisco Interviews For Blue Jays GM Job


KC Royals assistant GM of major-league and international operations Rene Francisco interviewed for the vacant GM job with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal.

The Kansas City Royals have largely avoided a talent drain of their best executives following their World Series run in 2014, but now face their first major loss if Francisco lands (and accepts) the Blue Jays job.

Last winter, bench coach Don Wakamatsu was a finalist for the Tampa Bay Rays manager position after Joe Maddon opted out of his contract and moved to the Chicago Cubs. However, losing Rene Francisco would be an even more damaging loss. Francisco made his bones as an international scout for both the Braves and KC Royals. He’s the guy that signed Salvador Perez for a $65,000 bonus.

Under Francisco, the Kansas City Royals have developed a strong pipeline of Latin American talent, that has includes current team members Salvador Perez (three gold gloves), Kelvin Herrera, and Yordano Ventura. The Latin talent pipeline also includes prospects Raul Mondesi, Cheslor Cuthbert, Jorge Bonifacio, and Miguel Almonte.

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The Jays are interested in bringing in Francisco to replace the departed Alex Anthopoulos, who left Toronto despite winning The Sporting News Executive of the Year Award in 2015. Anthopolus earned the honor for his series of strong off-season moves followed by deadline deals that broke Toronto’s 23-year string of playoff futility.

Anthopoulos, however, chose to leave after the Blue Jays hired former Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro as team president this summer. Apparently, Athopoulos did not want to continue in a position that would be an effective demotion when Shapiro wanted to have some say about player personnel.

While earning a GM job title would seem like a promotion for Francisco, it’s an open question whether the Blue Jays job would be a real advancement in terms of responsibility. If Shapiro wants to have the final say over personnel, how would the Blue Jays job be any different than his current position with the KC Royals?

I’m certain Rene Francisco asked a similar question in his interview in Toronto.

While you don’t want to stand in the way of someone advancing their career, I can’t help but hope that Francisco decides he’d rather stay in Kansas City. The KC Royals have a good thing going, and I’d like to see the management team stick together as long as possible.

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Though, if the KC Royals continue to succeed, other teams will eventually hire away some of Dayton Moore’s top lieutenants.