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Blue Jays' owners seeking Paul Beeston's replacement, Dan Duquette and Kenny Williams are candidates

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If you are looking to change jobs, and have extensive experience working in baseball, here is a big opportunity for you: Rogers Communications, the owners of Toronto Blue Jays, are actively seeking a replacement for Paul Beeston as the club's CEO, reports ESPN's Buster Onley. This is the first solid confirmation that Rogers is looking for Beeston's successor despite knowing that his last contract ended in October this year. It is not known whether this new CEO would also assume the office of the president.

In this morning's tweet, Onley also suggested that Baltimore Orioles baseball operations vice-president and former Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette is one of the candidates being considered. Kenny Williams, a former Blue Jays player (who almost killed the Jays' third-base coach at one point) and long-time front-office staff with the Chicago White Sox, is also in consideration. Recall that Williams was the one who successfully traded injured pitcher Mike Sirotka to the Blue Jays.

Beeston's role is primarily to be the contact point between ownership--that is, the board, the CEO, and upper management at Rogers--and general manager Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays front office staff. He informs the front office of their expected payroll range, speaks with ownership about significant trades and signings, and sets general club policies like the "five-year rule" on free agent contracts. He is believed to also be heavily involved with club marketing, and has been overseeing renovations to the Rogers Centre in his capacity as the CEO of the stadium.

Paul Beeston was the president of COO of Major League Baseball and worked under outgoing Commissioner Bud Selig during that period. Onley suggested in his post that Rogers was not happy that Beeston picked the wrong horse in the race to replace Selig, having spoken strongly against Rob Manfred in the owners' conference call prior to the election.

The 69-year-old from Welland, Ontario, was one of the club's remaining charter employees, although he left the club in the late-nineties to work for Major League Baseball. In 2008, after the dismissal of Paul Godfrey, Beeston was re-hired as interim president & CEO and was charged with seeking the best candidate for the permanent job. Like Dick Cheney, he eventually settled into that job himself and has been in that seat ever since. He oversaw the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos, three managers, a very successful re-branding of the Blue Jays, several large trades, and the construction of the popular outfield porch at the Rogers Centre.

In a piece by Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, it was noted that Beeston's inner-circle in the Blue Jays organization. Rogers, and in Major League Baseball, has been slowly shrinking due to departures and retirements.

The cigar-chomping (and at times, sock-wearing) Beeston has been quite nice to us fans, and has been known to be quite candid about club affairs in one-on-one encounters when tape recorders and cameras are not turned on.

UPDATE

It may be difficult for the Blue Jays to interview Duquette and Williams, as they are currently under contract with their respective clubs still. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal jumped in to the Beeston rumours around noon, saying that the White Sox are not willing to allow the Blue Jays to speak with Williams, but that he is thinking of resigning to pursue the promotion.

UPDATE 2 (from Tom Dakers)

It looks like this is moving fast.

UPDATE 3 (from Damaso's Burnt Shirt)

We are very pleased with his performance, and we expect him to satisfy his contract. We not only want him to, but we expect him to. We don’t want him to go away, and we don’t expect him to go away. And he’s given no indication he wants to go away. Suffice to say there is a contract that binds both parties to a four-year contract and binds Dan as the GM of the Orioles.

-Peter Angelos

Buzzkill or bargaining ploy.

UPDATE 4

Kenny Williams call the rumours involving his name to be a "non-story" right now, telling the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane that he was not granted permission for an interview and that the "ship has sailed." He then hinted that the Blue Jays had approached him in the past, saying that he did consider resigning at that time.

The rumours have now gained one more name: Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who, according to an industry source who spoke with Pioneer Press's Mike Bernardino, is a name that the Blue Jays have considered. However, Bernardino later tweeted that the Blue Jays had not yet requested permission to speak with Ryan about the job. He also mentioned that Bernardino declined an offer to become the Blue Jays general manager in 2001, a job that ultimately went to J.P. Ricciardi.

Ryan is the preferred man for one anonymous Blue Jays official, again according to Bernardino. However, the decision is out of the hands of the front office as the whole proceedings is conducted at the ownership level.