By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
What news to wake up to. According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, owned by Rogers Communications, general manager Alex Anthopoulos has rejected a contract extension and will be leaving the club.
Anthopoulos’s approach in 2016, a “go-for-broke” mentality that traded the farm away in favour of acquiring players who could contribute now, was possibly one the things that came under scrutiny from incoming team president Mark Shapiro. According to TSN reporter Rick Westhead, Shapiro “was concerned that the Jays had given away so many blue-chip prospects this season.”
Anthopoulos has never been afraid to make big trades in his tenure with the Blue Jays, particularly going back to 2013 when he traded many top prospects (Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Travis d’Arnaud, Adeiny Hechavarria) in order to acquire R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. This season he traded Daniel Norris, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and other highly considered prospects in order to get Troy Tulowitzki and David Price.
There was an interesting take by Chris Johnston (who is mainly a hockey reporter, though) who tweeted this earlier.
Call it the AA paradox: He likely doesn’t go all-in if he knew he was staying, but it’s the Jays success afterwards fuelling the outcry.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 29, 2015
In my opinion, the Blue Jays are losing out on one of the most creative thinkers in baseball. Not all of his moves worked but he certainly hasn’t been afraid to try to find a way to exploit rules and loopholes (as in the first 10 rounds of the 2012 draft as well as offseason moves to acquire so many picks) and he hasn’t been afraid to go “all in.”
What all of this means for other people in Blue Jays management is unknown. assistant GM Tony LaCava is highly regarded in baseball circles and has interviewed for other GM positions and could be promoted into the Jays’ spot or Shapiro could try to bring in people that he wants in the job. Manager John Gibbons will likely not remain either. He’s known for his relationship with Anthopoulos but the lengthy playoff run could improve his chances of getting another managing job sooner rather than later.
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