Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Blue Jays have interviewed Sandy Almoar Jr. for their managerial opening three times already.
I’ve been on a lot of job interviews. And I spent a lot of time recruiting as well. I can’t remember ever either being interviewed or having someone in for interviews three times. The only possible excuse I can think for a third interview is that a key person had a scheduling conflict, but if the candidate is being taken seriously, you don’t schedule the guy until you know every key decision maker is available.
I’ll grant, however, that’s it’s possible the interviewing protocols of law firms are different than that of Major League Baseball teams. For example, no matter what his merits as a candidate are, most law firms wouldn’t consider Alomar because he wasn’t on law review.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.