J.P. Ricciardi has been fired as Blue Jays general manager, team president Paul Beeston announced Saturday.

"This was a tough decision and a difficult one for me personally as I have enjoyed J.P.'s friendship and his perspective on the game," said Beeston, acting president and CEO.

"J.P. has put an incredible amount of effort into improving the team and he has brought along a number of great young players. However, I feel that it is time for a change and accordingly we have decided to move on."

Alexander Anthopoulos, vice president of baseball operations and assistant general manager, will replace Ricciardi, although the announcement didn't make clear whether the move was permanent.

Ricciardi came under fire this year for failing to trade pitcher Roy Halladay after shopping him. Ricciardi, who has been with the franchise since 2001, has posted four winning seasons and four losing ones. He failed to make the playoffs in his tenure in Toronto.

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