Although his contract was up at the end of this season, everyone assumed, with very little discussion, that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos would be back next season. Not only is he generally well-regarded, but he just led the Blue Jays – with some very aggressive maneuvering, I might add – to their first playoff appearance in over 20 years.
But Shi Davidi reports that’s not the case, saying that Anthopoulos has rejected a contract extension, and will be leaving the organization. Davidi says that the rejection is not thought to be a financial decision, which implies that there was some other kind of issue. The Jays are bringing in a new President – Mark Shapiro, formerly of the Indians – to start on Monday. Perhaps he wanted his own GM, and the extension offer to Anthopoulos was a token offer? Or perhaps Anthopoulos simply doesn’t want to have someone operating over top of him on the baseball side?
Whatever the case, this is a serious and unexpected disruption in the executive market, because it’s now possible the Blue Jays – an extremely attractive spot – will be looking for a new GM. It’s unclear where Anthopoulos goes from here, and it’s unclear how much collateral turnover there will now be in Toronto.
Another thing: even though there is not a direct relationship, I’ll forgive any Chicago Cubs fans who see news like this and immediately think, “See, no extension is ever guaranteed, and here’s hoping the Cubs and Theo Epstein get something nailed down ASAP.” Epstein is under contract through 2016 only, and both he and chairman Tom Ricketts have consistently declined to go into depth on their discussions of a contract, saying only general things about planning to talk, everyone being happy, and hoping to get something done.