DUNEDIN, Fla. – The contractual status of general manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Farrell are shrouded in secrecy, but that’s not the case for Toronto Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston.
Back before the team started guarding such pieces of information like the KGB, the press release announcing Beeston’s acceptance of the role on a full-time basis revealed that he was hired for a three-year-term.
That was back in October 2009, meaning he’s now in the final year of his contract.
Beeston stepped into the job after serving a year in the position on an interim basis and heading a search that ultimately led back to him. Now 66, he’d like to see through the rebuilding process he started once he took over from Paul Godfrey following the 2008 season.
“I guess I would say that, but I’m not even thinking about that right now,” Beeston said in an interview from his Toronto office. “Obviously we’re going to have to think things through as the season progresses, because we’ll get through the start of the season and then look at it from there.
“I had a great time when I was retired and I’ve had a great time when I’ve been back.”
While certainly not a crucial point right now – understandably Beeston says “we’re all focused on the season and getting ready for that” – how the team fares and its bearing on his situation will be worth watching.
Under Beeston’s watch the club’s business side has been rebuilt, resources have been poured back into scouting and player development, and the baseball operations’ philosophy has returned to its glory-years roots, mixed in with a dash of new-age analytics.
But this past winter, many fans questioned some of his policies regarding free-agents, particularly the refusal to hand out contracts that guarantee more than five years.
Regardless, Beeston has overcome his initial reluctance to take the position permanently and thrown himself fully into the commitment. Clearly back in the element, he shows no signs of someone ready to walk away once the season ends.
“I don’t think there’s any question that I’ve enjoyed it,” Beeston said. “I’ve enjoyed it because I actually like the direction the team’s going. I like the infrastructure that’s been set up. I like working with Alex. I like working with the people in the office here. I like being involved back in baseball.
“So from the prospect of where we’ve been the past 2.5 years and where we’re headed, I think it’s been rewarding and a lot of fun.”