Alex Anthopoulos brought another Blue Jay employee to Atlanta on Tuesday, hiring George Poulis to head up their training department. Could the Blue Jays take advantage of his fond memories?
Another day, another former employee of the Blue Jays who is going to work for Alex Anthopoulos in Atlanta. Not that it’s been a mass exodus by any means, but it’s pretty clear that Anthopoulos thinks very highly of the staff he worked with in Toronto. On Tuesday, the Braves announced that they had hired George Poulis to be their director of player health and head athletic trainer.
In an offseason full of change for the Blue Jays’ off the field staff, perhaps Poulis departure is somewhat welcomed by Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins, as they continue to build their own staff and put their stamp on the franchise. Still, Poulis was a well liked personality, and I’m sure there will be players around the clubhouse that will be sad to see him go.
However, what stuck out to me the most about the hire was that Anthopoulos was dipping into the Blue Jays’ resources once again, offering a promotion in Atlanta in order to entice them away. We can’t begrudge Poulis or guys like Andrew Tinnish either (although he strangely came back after it was announced he was leaving), as they have to do what’s best for their families, and obviously working with Anthopoulos was a comfortable enough situation to leave a good job to pursue.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
It did get me thinking though, and wondering if perhaps the Blue Jays’ former GM has rose coloured glasses when it comes to thinking about his time in Toronto. And if that’s the case, could that be taken advantage of?
Think about it for a minute, and we’ll even use Ryan Goins as an example for the Blue Jays and their fan base. I was and likely always will be a fan of Goins, but in reality he was a replacement level player in the big leagues, and someone who should be pretty easily replaced in theory. However, if you ask a certain section of the Blue Jays’ fanbase, Goins is irreplaceable, and the Blue Jays are mad to be letting him go.
Why is that? Well, it’s really easy to fall in love with your own players, especially when they’ve been brought up through the system and eventually make it to the highest level. Fans do it all the time, but front offices also overvalue their own assets, frequently seeing far more value than any other rival GM might. It’s one of the reasons that agreeing to a trade is so difficult, and it’s that much harder when the front office has a personal relationship with the player, as Anthopoulos often did while he was in Toronto.
I’m not suggesting that Alex will lose his mind and grossly overpay for some of his old players, but I’m willing to bet that he sees greater value in some of the minor leaguers than Shapiro and Atkins do. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be smart to see what kind of price he’d be willing to pay to stock his own cupboards? Remember, the Braves just lost a slew of minor leaguers because of the international spending penalties that were brought down on them, so their front office has some work to do to get things back on the right track.