Blue Jays: Anthopoulos starts his cherry picking

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Brett Gardner
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Brett Gardner /

Alex Anthopoulos has already pulled a Blue Jay employee to Atlanta, hiring Andrew Tinnish as their VP of amateur and international scouting.

I wondered if something like this might happen, and it’s taken place much sooner than I would have expected. With Alex Anthopoulos assuming the General Manager’s duties in Atlanta with the Braves, he’ll want to build a team around him that he trusts and values, and sometimes the easiest way to do that is to tap on a familiar shoulder.

Anthopoulos has done just that, as the Braves announced on Monday that they’ve named Andrew Tinnish their new Vice President of amateur and international scouting, per Ken Rosenthal. Tinnish had been an Assistant General Manager in Toronto, and had spent considerable time working under Anthopoulos while he was at the helm with the Jays. It appears they liked that working relationship, and will join forces again in Atlanta.

There are a couple of ways to view this. First, it shouldn’t come as a major surprise, and it shouldn’t be a major source of stress for fans. Tinnish obviously had value in the front office, or he wouldn’t have survived the turnover when Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins took over in Toronto. He also obviously has the respect of Anthopoulos, or he wouldn’t have went out of his way to poach him to join his new team.

More from Jays Journal

That said, and with all due respect to Tinnish, he should be a replaceable voice in the Blue Jays front office. While there are a variety of characters in the Assistant GM role around baseball, it’s often a spot that’s for minds that are being groomed for the job someday, whether it’s with their existing organization or not. For Tinnish, he may not have been able to picture a ladder climb in Toronto, and the idea of going to a place where he knows he’s valued had to have some appeal.

One also has to wonder if the Blue Jays cleaning house in other areas had anything to do with this. Because Tinnish was around during the Anthopoulos era, maybe he wondered if he’d eventually be jettisoned as well if things didn’t go well in 2018? It’s always assumed that leadership wants to build their own team (as Anthopoulos is starting to do now), so perhaps Tinnish felt like his leash could be short in Toronto, but that’s just my own speculation.

In Atlanta he’ll take on the role of VP of amateur and international scouting, and perhaps sees greater opportunity in the long term working with Anthopoulos. I don’t know a ton about the hierarchy of front offices, but it would appear this is more about joining a familiar team, than seeking a promotion elsewhere, but it’s hard to say with so many titles floating around front offices in baseball these days.

Next: Blue Jays fishing in the free agent deep end so far

Hopefully it’s more of an indication of his respect and admiration for his former boss, than his looking to get away from his current situation. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be reading so much into this if we had some hot stove news to talk about.