In a bit of shocking news, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is leaving the team after turning down an extension offer, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Anthopoulos' contract expires on Saturday, though it was widely expected that he would sign a new deal and return to his position after leading the Jays to the ALCS this season.
The reason for Anthopoulos' decision is not entirely known, though Toronto's recent hiring of ex-Indians boss Mark Shapiro as president may have played a key role. Shapiro was expected to be more involved in the business side of things, though he may now have a strong role in baseball operations with Anthopoulos gone.
Anthopoulos, 38, leaves Toronto after six years with the club, entering a market in which no club currently has a vacancy at general manager. The Angels, Brewers, Phillies, Red Sox and Tigers have all undergone significant change in their front offices so far this fall, leaving Anthopoulos without a clear opening for his next gig.
It is currently unclear if the Jays will hire a new general manager to replace Anthopoulos, or if they will let Shapiro handle baseball operations in his first year with the club. Multiple strong candidates who did not get the jobs in Anaheim, Milwaukee and Philadelphia are still available.