In a surprising development, the young Jays GM will reportedly leave the team after its most successful season in decades.
Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has rejected a contract extension to remain with the team, according to multiple reports.
The surprising decision comes after the Blue Jays’ best season in over two decades. The team closed out the regular season as one of the best teams in baseball, and were eliminated in the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals.
It is widely reported that Anthopolous’ reason for leaving has to do with a lack of autonomy in the GM role. The Jays recently hired Mark Shapiro away from the Cleveland Indians to be their team president. But unlike most teams, it appears the president role will have a say over player personnel matters that the GM typically oversees.
Losing the 38-year-old Anthopolous, who is a candidate to win baseball’s award for top executive, is a blow to the team’s credibility. The Montreal native is well-respected, and boasted a number of trades and signings that worked out well for the club. Chief among these were unloading Vernon Wells’ onerous contract to the L.A. Angels, signing sluggers José Bautista and Edwin Encarnación to team-friendly contract extensions, and trading for potential MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and rental pitcher David Price.
Of course, he also had his missteps—the move to trade Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey has not held up well, and the Jays also lost catcher Yan Gomes for nothing.
The Jays offseason priorities include re-signing or finding replacements for starting pitchers Price, Mark Buehrle, and Marco Estrada, and filling holes in their bullpen. But now that will start with finding a new general manager to do the work.
Well this goddamn sucks. The Shapiro Era is off to a terrible start.
— fleetwood windows (@ruhee_) October 29, 2015
Source: In their 1st & only meeting, new Jays prez Mark Shapiro scolded Alex Anthopolous & staff for trading so many top prospects this yr
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 29, 2015
If you think this is a sudden move, you didn't pay attention to the Duquette stuff last winter, or the all-in trades during the season.
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) October 29, 2015
He wasnt a perfect GM, but alex anthopoulos went for it and gave Jays fans the ability to watch this on loop forever pic.twitter.com/xUV8UYaZNa
— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) October 29, 2015
I would have offered anything to keep Alex Anthopoulos here. I would have asked George Stroumboulopoulos to offer him letters from his name.
— Jeremy Woodcock (@jwPencilAndPad) October 29, 2015
Dump Rogers. Keep Anthopoulos.
— Royson James (@RoysonJames) October 29, 2015