Thursday October 29th, 2015

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Thursday that general manager Alex Anthopoulos has rejected a long-term contract extension and is leaving the team.

The reason for his departure was reportedly not financial. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Anthopoulos likely chose to leave because of concerns over the imminent changing dynamic in Blue Jays management. Mark Shapiro, who was the Cleveland Indians’ general manager for eight years, was hired to become Toronto’s president and CEO in August, and is slated to assume his duties with the team on Monday.

Rick Westhead of The Sports Network reports that in the only meeting between Anthopoulos and Shapiro, the new president scolded Anthopoulos for trading too many top prospects in a flurry of trade-deadline moves this year.

On Friday, Rosenthal reported that the Blue Jays offered Anthopoulos a five-year contract extension that included a right to opt out after one year if conflict emerged between him and Shapiro. The fact Anthopoulos still reneged the deal is evidence of how uncomfortable he was welcoming Shapiro into the Toronto front office, Rosenthal reports.

Anthopoulos previously said he had not wanted to negotiate his contract during the playoffs, but he had affirmed he wanted to remain in Toronto.

“All I can say is I love being here, I love Toronto,” Anthopoulos said during a press conference Monday. “I’ve always maintained that, and that’s probably as far as I’d go with that.”

Since Anthopoulos became general manager in 2009, the Blue Jays have posted a 489–483 record. This year, they won the American League East with a 93–69 record and earned their first trip to the postseason since winning the World Series in 1993. They were eliminated in the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals.

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- Erin Flynn

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