MILWAUKEE - Blue Jays president Paul Beeston had lunch with agent Adam Katz at the historic Pfister Hotel on Wednesday.
Katz represents Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes and his firm will handle Japanese starter Yu Darvish once his contract is posted.
Who is coming to Toronto first: Centre fielder Cespedes or right-hander Darvish?
“We were talking about the fun we had doing Damo Garcia’s contract with Tom Reich and Adam in the mid-1980s,” said Beeston. “How Tom would say: ‘It’s going downnnnn.’”
Beeston is in town for the owners meetings at the annual general managers meetings, which conclude Thursday.
Former Jays GM Gord Ash stopped by the table and talk turned to Toronto’s arbitration hearings in the 1980s.
“In those days, Pat Gillick and I would be on the one side of the table arguing for our arbitration number,” said Ash. “Tom, Adam and Paul would be on the other side arguing for the player’s number.”
Beeston, always the deal-maker, chortled like Muttley in the animated Wacky Races TV show.
Reich and Katz also represented Tony Fernandez and Duane Ward over the years.
Katz said later teams are coming to the Dominican Republic for private workouts to see Cespedes, who worked out for the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.
A workout date for the Jays had not been set up and their GM, Alex Anthopoulos, said that the club has not decided if it will be following up. The Jays have scouted Cespedes after seeing him earlier at a showcase. He hopes to establish temporary residence in the Dominican within the next two weeks.
While the Jays have contacted the Colorado Rockies about obtaining Huston Street, they have company in pursuit of a closer. The Boston Red Sox also have interest in Street. Street, 27, converted 29 of 33 (88%) save chances. Next season, Street will earn $7.5 million US ... Anthopoulos said he would not rule out bringing back Frank Francisco. who saved 17 of 21 opportunities (81%).
Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow is represented by agent Joel Wolfe of Wasserman Media of Los Angeles. It will be an all-OUA alumni matchup when the time comes for Wolfe to talk long-term deal with Anthopoulos about his client. While Anthopoulos attended McMaster, Wolfe went to Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Que., and then obtained his law degree at UCLA. Both Wolfe’s parents are from Montreal, they graduated from McGill and Wolfe has a summer home in Ayer’s Cliff, Que. While born in California, Wolfe has dual citizenship and was a third round pick of the Oakland- A’s as an outfielder, reaching triple-A Edmonton in 1995.
How Canadian is he?
“Well, William Shatner was in my mother’s high school graduating class,” said Wolfe.
Morrow was 11-11 with a 4.72 ERA in 30 starts for the Jays earned $2.3 million this season and could be a candidate for a long-term deal.
As discussed at the all-star game, the Players Association wants two 15-team leagues for 2013 season, which would involve the Houston Astros moving to the AL West.
Drayton McLane, the Astros’ owner, arrived Wednesday. Owners are expected to vote on approval of the sale of the team to Houston businessman Jim Crane in Thursday sessions. McLane said his friend, Michael Firestone, of Toronto would now have to be happy thinking he owned the Jays.
“He thought he owned my team for 19 years,” McLane said.
Michael Weiner, Players Association boss, said in July his members wanted fairness in the divisions. With Houston moving the six-team NL Central and the four-team AL West are both eliminated, creating six five-team divisions.
Terry Ryan is in the saddle as GM of the Minnesota Twins, taking over for Bill Smith, GM the previous four years, with a “fire in his eye” as one Twins scout said.
Ryan was asked to interview for the vacant Jays GM job in 2001 after Paul Godfrey sent GM Ash packing.
Ryan, an excellent choice, declined, saying: “I don’t think it would send a good message to our employees, interviewing for another job when they are trying to contract our team.”
Ryan, meanwhile, said Justin Morneau should be ready by spring. This season, he was restricted to 69 games because of surgery to remove a herniated disc fragment in his neck. He had three surgeries in September: Removing a cyst from his left knee, a bone spur from his right foot and tendon surgery in his left wrist.
Ryan also was happy for Andrew Albers, who pitched 62/3 innings of Canada’s gold medal win at the Pan Am Games in Mexico. The North Battleford, Sask., lefty finished the season at the Twins double-A New Britain team.
“He has great pitchability and throws lot of strikes,” Ryan said.
A CLOSING ARM?
Is the Blue Jays’ search for a closer over? Should we stop the presses?
The Jays landed Cole Kimball on Wednesday.
Kimball, 26, who pitched for the Nationals this season, was claimed off waivers. His season ended July 13 with rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder.
The Jays hope he returns to action quicker than Dustin McGowan, who had surgery in 2008 and did not return to the majors until this year.
This season, Kimball pitched 12 games in relief for the Nationals with a 1-0 mark and a 1.93 ERA, walking 11 and striking out 11 in 14 innings.
He pitched in 12 games at triple-A Syracuse, without giving up a run.
Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin of Chatham, Ont., shared The Sporting News co-executive of the year honours with Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski. Melvin helped turn the Brewers around after a disappointing 2010 season, trading for both Zach Greinke of the Kansas City Royals and Shawn Marcum of the Jays. The Marcum deal netted the Jays Brett Lawrie.