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.