Alex Anthopoulos Out as Jays GM
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Alex Anthopoulos Out as Jays GM

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.