The Dodgers have reportedly made a rather large addition to their burgeoning baseball operations department, reportedly hiring former Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, per Vince Cauchon of Radio X in Quebec, and confirmed by Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com and by ESPN.
Anthopoulos will work alongside Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi, per Cauchon, with the exact role not yet known. The team has not confirmed the report.
The move has been rumored for months, with John Shannon of Fan 590 radio in Toronto reporting the Dodgers had an offer out to Anthopoulos in November. Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten, a guest on the Prime Time Sports radio show on Nov 11, deflected the rumors, saying, "Even if it were true, I still wouldn't tell you."
This would add another former GM to the Dodgers front office, with Anthopoulos joining president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes.
Anthopoulos, who turns 39 in May, was general manager in Toronto for six years, then resigned on Oct. 29 after leading the Blue Jays to their first playoff appearance in 22 years an a trip to the American League Championship Series.
"Alex has done an unbelievable job and positioned us well for the future," Blue Jays outgoing president and CEO Paul Beeston said in a statement at the time. "He can take great pride in his past and while we do not know where his future is taking him, we do know wherever he is going, he will be successful."
Toronto hired former Indians general manager Mark Shapiro on Aug. 31, to replace Beeston as president and CEO. Speculation is that Anthopoulos left Toronto because of a power struggle with Shapiro, per John Lott of the National Post on Oct. 30:
"Mark did everything he could in order for me to stay," [Anthopoulos] said.
But Shapiro must not have given you what you asked, right?
"I never asked for anything," Anthopoulos replied.
The only conclusion, then, is that this was about power and autonomy. If we take Anthopoulos at his word – that he made no requests regarding autonomy over baseball decisions – then this much seems clear: He saw the writing on the wall.
Shapiro sat down and laid out his agenda. It included a degree of power over baseball operations that Anthopoulos was unwilling to cede to the new president.
Anthopoulos told Gregory Strong of the Canadian Press before Christmas that he expected to be working again in January:
"I understand that I may not be a general manager again and I’m OK with that," he said. "Now again, that’s what my perspective is today. And obviously deciding not to sign an extension, I had to be prepared for that. I just think that all of the decisions I’ve made in my life, I never chased the money. You try to do what ultimately you feel is going to satisfy you and fulfil you. As simple as it sounds — and maybe this is naive — but normally success will follow.
"You like what you do, you enjoy it, you’re happy, you’re probably going to put in more hours than you need to because you enjoy it. In turn, you’re going to be really motivated and driven and you’re probably going to do a pretty good job. Then all that other stuff — money, positions — that takes care of itself."
In addition to GM of the Blue Jays, Anthopoulos was assistant GM in Toronto from 2006-2009 and scouting coordinator from 2003-2005. He started as an intern with the Montreal Expos in 2000, then was promoted to scouting director in Montreal, a position he served in 2002-2003.
In October, Anthopoulos was named 2015 Sporting News MLB Executive of the Year, as voted on by major league front office members.