The Blue Jays have signed General Manager Ross Atkins to a 5-year contract extension.
Companies value and reward good work and knowledge. The Blue Jays organization has recognized the capabilities and future vision that Atkins and his superior, Mark Shapiro have for the team. Atkins joined the Blue Jays in December 2015 as the general manager, relieving Alex Anthopoulos of his commitment to Toronto.
The North Carolina native was a pitcher in his playing days, drafted twice, and signing the second time with the Cleveland Indians and spending five seasons in the farm system. Cleveland stuck with their homegrown, and Atkins began his career in baseball operations with the organization. He started in player development, in charge of Latin American Operations, and was promoted to vice-president of player personnel. Fast-forwarding, Atkins has been a Blue Jay for four plus years.
When President Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins joined the organization, the baseball streets of Toronto were chirping. Everything Blue Jays fans and followers knew was Anthopoulos, who delivered us to the postseason in 2015, for the first time since 1993. This was hope for the fan base, then we lost our guy. The public was skeptical.
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In 2016, we returned to the post-season with a similar roster. One which drove us through the grinder of a Wild Card win, all the way to the American League Championship Series, where it ended. Within a year or two later, our beloved stars were filing out one by one. Contracts ending, players being traded, and so on. This was the same feeling we all had when Roy Halladay left for Philadelphia, only in a bundle. Fans and followers across the country developed a skeptical perspective of the new executives. Sadly, Toronto baseball fans failed to observe the bigger picture in the game and the business.
The Ross Atkins Review
Yes, the original 2015-2016 playoff rosters were dismantled. Yes, these were glory years for us; however, there was not a championship ring with a Blue Jay logo for either of those years. The roster was dismantled and the rebuild process started. Ex-manager John Gibbons was replaced by current manager, Charlie Montoyo. Additions and subtractions happened. A part of that math was the phenomenal scouting done by the organization. Free agents were selected methodically; Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez were a part of that equation. Ken Giles was brought in to fill a closer role. Meanwhile, player development was emphasized, a new complex along with a high-performance program was incorporated.
The roster movement was a symphony of transactions to allow the entire future of the Blue Jays to take their first bite into the big show. Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and the rest were all called upon to switch out the Buffalo jerseys to the blue and white. Jordan Romano was selected by the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 draft in 2018; Atkins and the crew knew they wanted him as a part of the future; he was brought back and protected on the 40-man in 2019.
These moves brought the Blue Jays back to the postseason in 2020; a strong sign of progress with a young developing roster. That off-season, Atkins and company went out to add a key piece, Marcus Semien and our franchise’s biggest signing, slugger, George Springer. That feeling in the Toronto Baseball world is back. Now that the city, the country, and Blue Jays nation sees the Atkins/Shapiro perspective, we’re In good hands for another five years!