Jays lose director of Latin operations to ChiSox

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays front office was raided for the second time this week Wednesday as director of Latin American operations Marco Paddy was hired by the Chicago White Sox to serve as their special assistant to the general manager – international operations.

Paddy’s defection follows Monday’s departure of professional cross-checker Gary Rajsich, who left his post to take over as director of amateur scouting with the Baltimore Orioles, the same team that a few weeks ago had assistant GM Tony LaCava decline an offer to take over as their general manager.

The interest in Blue Jays staff from other clubs is a good news/bad news thing, as it suggests their rivals believe in their people and methods, but also forces GM Alex Anthopoulos to either try and retain his workers or replace them.

Paddy, who came to Toronto in September 2006 from the Atlanta Braves, will be missed. Prominent signings under his watch included Henderson Alvarez, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and catching prospect Carlos Perez, while over the past two years he has managed the club’s re-emergence as a major player handing out million-dollar bonuses in Latin America.

Additionally, his previous relationship with Yunel Escobar from their time together in Atlanta was instrumental in the Blue Jays’ acquisition of the shortstop and his smooth transition following the July 2010 trade.

Taking over from Paddy will be Ismael Cruz, who a few weeks ago was lured away from the New York Mets, where he spent six years as director, international operations.

Hired as the special assistant, Latin American operations, a title he will retain for now, Cruz had previous ties to several Blue Jays front office people from his time as director of Latin American operations for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals from 2002-05.

A Philadelphia Phillies draft pick in 1989 who played two years of minor-league ball, Cruz’s varied resume includes work as a scout for the Pirates and Reds, a stint representing players under agent Adam Katz, and a season managing San Diego’s Dominican Summer League team.

Paddy’s role with the White Sox expands his duties, as he will work directly with GM Kenny Williams and direct Chicago’s Latin American operations, with an emphasis on international signings.

PROPS FOR ARENCIBIA AND LAWRIE: Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia and third baseman Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., picked up some props Wednesday by being named to the 53rd edition of the Topps major-league rookie all-star team.

Arencibia batted .219 with 23 homers and 78 RBIs in 129 games while making great strides behind the plate, and Lawrie batted .293 with nine homers and 25 RBIs in 43 electrifying games following his August call up to the majors.

Rounding out the squad were Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon, outfielders Desmond Jennings of the Rays, Josh Reddick of the Red Sox and Ben Revere of the Twins, Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson and Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.

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