Shocker: General manager Alex Anthopoulos rejects extension, quits Blue Jays

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In stunning, out-of-nowhere news, Shi Davidi of Toronto Sportsnet reports that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos rejected a contract extension from the team and has resigned from the job.

Davidi reports that the split was not due to money and as of last week Anthopoulos said: “All I can say is I love being here, I love Toronto.”

All of which has led to speculation that new CEO and team president Mark Shapiro–himself a former general manager with the Indians–was the driving force behind Anthopoulos’ departure. Obviously the fact that the GM was offered a contract extension to remain on the job muddies those waters a bit, but much like we saw with Don Mattingly and the Dodgers not all contract extension offers are created equal.

Toronto had a 489-483 record in six seasons with Anthopoulos in charge and this year the Blue Jays made the playoffs for the first time since 1993, putting together a fantastic second half and advancing to the ALCS after the GM pulled off blockbuster trades for David Price and Troy Tulowitzki. Last offseason he also acquired Josh Donaldson, the possible league MVP.

There are currently no other GM openings, so Anthopoulos apparently doesn’t have another gig lined up.

UPDATE: According to a statement released by the team, Anthopoulos rejected a five-year contract extension.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.