According to sources of Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, Alex Anthopoulos will return as GM of the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2015 season.
Anthopoulos, once known as the “Ninja GM”, has taken a bit of heat after not making any significant moves over the previous offseason or at the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. However it’s unclear how much, if any, budget Anthopoulos has to work with and after shipping off a truckload of young players in 2012 also doesn’t have a surplus of prospect capital.
GM’s across baseball are experiencing rather historic levels of job security, which prompted Ben Lindberg of Grantland to dub them the Duracell GM Generation. If you haven’t read it yet, Ben explores possible reasons why GM firings happen so infrequently, one of them which is this:
"“Teams, more and more, are being run like companies,” says one high-level executive who’s widely considered a GM-in-waiting (and waiting, and waiting). “That means two things: (1) The bottom line is important; if clubs are making money (and most all of them are), you don’t make a change, and (2) companies rarely fire top executives on whims or without really thinking things through before they do so.”"
I’m sure the above is doubly true when a team is owned by a conglomerate such as Rogers. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that, other than a few regrettable moves, Anthopoulos has done a good job rebuilding this team through the draft, which has yet to bear significant fruit but may very well over the next couple of seasons.
He was also bold enough to put stock in some of his internal options last offseason, which was scoffed at then but has turned into a decision that has kept the Blue Jays in contention this season. We know that from the leaked Houston Astros documents, teams were all over Stroman last season and thankfully he wasn’t dealt. Same goes for Drew Hutchison, who’s name was found in just about every trade rumour involving the Blue Jays.
Aaron Sanchez has also looked very good pitching out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays this season and Daniel Norris has been damn near unhittable for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. The development of these talented young arms has gained Anthopoulos some goodwill from team ownership according to Simmons report.
Anthopoulos’ next challenge will be finding a way to fill the holes that are looming in the outfield with both Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus eligible for free agency after this season. And in my humble opinion, he’s still the right man for the job.