Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet reported last night that The Toronto Blue Jays “quietly extended the contract of Ross Atkins recently.” Atkins was in the final year of a four-year deal. Nicholson-Smith says that the specifics of the extension aren’t known. Team president Mark Shpiro declined comment.
Normally a club crows about a front office extension like this, complete with words about things being on a solid path heading forward and extolling the vision of the guy being extended, etc. etc. It’s hard to understand why the Jays aren’t doing the same here. On one level there has been some degree of hostility against the Jays front office due to a somewhat dreary and unpopular rebuild and maybe they just don’t want to make a big deal about it. On the other hand, that rebuild has begun to bear fruit this year with the emergence of some promising young players and a strong farm system, so it’s not like Atkins hasn’t done the job he’s been tasked with doing.
Such is the life of a GM in today’s baseball. Due to the elevation of the guys who used to be GMs, like Shapiro, into team president-level titles, and due to some teams’ focus on cost-cutting, like the Blue Jays, it’s less of a glamour job than it used to be. Maybe the Jays will give Atkins the full press conference treatment later, but for now it’s a “quiet” extension.