Mark Shapiro was recently asked about his contract status with the Blue Jays, and he didn’t give a straight forward answer to the question.
Since the Blue Jays’ short-lived playoff appearance came to an end, and even before that, I’ve been wondering when we’d hear more about the contract status of President and CEO Mark Shapiro, as well as potentially others like Ross Atkins and even Charlie Montoyo.
As far as we know right now, Atkins has one year remaining on his contract as the General Manager, and Montoyo has one year, plus a club option for 2022 on his as the skipper. As for Shapiro, his five-year contract that was signed back in 2015 is coming to an end, and it’s been very quiet on that front for a while. There was a time when Shapiro was rumoured as a candidate for other jobs, but he’s always been quick to dismiss those reports, and obviously has remained an employee of the Blue Jays.
On Wednesday, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi had a chance to address the topic with the man himself. While Shapiro did offer an answer of sorts, or at least hinted at the conclusion we should draw, he stopped short of giving a definitive response.
"“The desire to be here long term has been reciprocated by the people I work for. That’s as simple as I can be for you. I’ll be here until I’m not here. Based upon my desire to be here and the reciprocation of that, I would expect that that’s going to continue to happen.”"
A fairly typical non-answer from a baseball executive, but he certainly didn’t try to pour any cold water on the idea that he’d continue in his role. In his article, Davidi mentions that it’s highly unlikely that Shapiro would even hint at his status unless he was confident about how it would resolve, and I’d agree with that statement. He also quoted Shapiro talking about how the front office types aren’t the stars, and that the focus should be on the players, and that’s fair to an extent as well.
However, the biggest reason that fans are curious about these matters is because of how deeply it could affect a team’s future. Right now the Blue Jays are on a pretty clear path, and one that’s been primarily designed by Shapiro and Atkins. Without knowing if the former is sticking around, it raises more questions about the latter, and also about Montoyo’s future in Toronto. Montoyo is this current front office’s “guy” in the manager’s seat, and a change in the President/CEO or GM role could change his job security. Of course, a different front office team could have very different ideas about roster building as well, for better or for worse.
For what it’s worth, Shapiro did go on to talk about off-season plans, and truly appears to be thinking and operating as if he’ll be back. That’s probably a fairly safe assumption to make, although after the way that 2020 has gone, it’s always nice to have confirmation. My guess is that should come in the not so distant future.