Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Just two guys, talking baseball, presumably at a Tim Horton’s.
RG: When you talk to agents or other GMs now do you detect a different vibe than when you were starting out? Do they know where you’re coming from before you even come from there?
AA: I never thought about it that way. Over time you get to know them better and they get to know me better. So, from a working relationship standpoint it’s better that way. I think having dealt with (Marlins GM) Larry Beinfest trying to get Dan Uggla three years ago made it that much easier having to deal with him now. I find (I’m) not wasting as much time. I won’t say I’m more direct but I find when you’re an AGM in a weird way you have more time on your hands even though you’re juggling a lot more things. I think that as a GM you just have to make a decision and get to the point….
RG: Another change is that for years this franchise—at least from 1993 on—has always used the excuse that it’s tough to get free agents, it’s tough to get players to be happy coming to Toronto.
AA: I don’t think I’ve ever said it.
RG: No, no. And then you’ve showed up and worked at it a different way. You go to Nashville and convince R.A. Dickey. You make a difficult Marlins deal and all of a sudden these players you know there are some issues and you talk to them and now they’re all on board. Was it always this easy or do you really have to work at what you’re doing right now as a salesman for this franchise?
AA: I don’t think it’s easy. I’d love to tell you we as a front office are doing a great job and I don’t believe it. I don’t think we’re doing a bad job but I think ultimately everything you pointed to was this off-season. When you look at the Blue Jays in the past they had their pick of free agents just as long as they paid. They were a winning team. All of a sudden— I love the fact R.A. wanted to be here and so on — but I bet you if you asked R.A. a winning team was a huge part of it. The Marlins players are going from a team that’s not winning.
RG: Melky wouldn’t have signed here without that deal.
AA: Sure, no doubt about it. It’s all part of the appeal … The Marlins, if they didn’t choose us we chose them and ultimately they knew if they were leaving they’re all leaving together. They came from a team that finished in last and they’re talented guys so they’re leaving that team and at least we know we had talent. I’m not trying to not give ourselves credit but I’m trying to be objective, too. Winning, it’s unbelievable the things that it cures, but we haven’t won anything yet. Having talent and the belief you can win opens a lot of doors.
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