October 03, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos keeps an eye on the action at baseball spring training in Dunedin, Fla. on Friday Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn

TORONTO (AP) Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is coming back despite his team's fade down the stretch.

Blue Jays Chief Executive Officer Paul Beeston put to rest any speculation about Anthopoulos' job just days after Toronto finished third in the AL East at 83-79, extending a playoff drought to 21 years - longest in the majors.

''Alex, I can say for a fact, is back,'' Beeston said Friday in a radio interview.

Anthopoulos overhauled the Blue Jays roster two years ago but they have gone 157-167 since them.

Anthopoulos has been with the franchise for over a decade and has served as GM for the last five years.

''He hasn't finished what he started out to do,'' Beeston said. ''I'm 100 percent supportive of him. I think that he has done a very good job. I think we are now seeing the benefits of what happened with his development (and) his investment in the farm system.

''I think that's only going to be better for the future,'' Beeston added.

Beeston also said he expected manager John Gibbons to return next year. Anthopoulos has also voiced his confidence in the Blue Jays skipper, who has a rolling contract that kicks in every Jan. 1.

The Blue Jays had a strong first half this year and was tied for first place in the division on July 3, but struggled after the All-Star break and fell out of the playoff picture in September.

Beeston said the team's $135.5 million payroll, 10th highest, will rise in 2015.

Also Friday, the Blue Jays announced they have outrighted infielder Munenori Kawasaki, first baseman Dan Johnson and catcher George Kottaras to triple-A Buffalo. Johnson and Kottaras have both elected free agency.

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