Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos to be retained for 2015

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Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun has the story:

Alex Anthopoulos, the much-maligned general manager of the Blue Jays, will return for his sixth season running the club, a bevy of major-league sources have confirmed.

Apparently, there is no temperature at all to remove Anthopoulos from his job — in fact, quite the opposite sentiment exists — with an appreciation internally for the manner in which he has conducted his business.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is also expected to be brought back, no matter what happens over the final 38 games of 2014. Toronto has fallen 6 1/2 games back of the Orioles in the American League East and Anthopoulos was heavily-criticized for failing to upgrade the major league roster at the July 31 trade deadline. But Simmons writes Sunday that club ownership is “pleased that Anthopoulous has put the club’s future in good pitching hands with a potential rotation down the road that includes Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Drew Hutchison and minor-league stalwart Daniel Norris — all of whom are 23 years old or younger.”

Report: Padres have made offers to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.

Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.

The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.

Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.