CHICAGO – The head of Rogers Media, the division of Rogers Communications Inc., responsible for the Toronto Blue Jays, says there are no updates and nothing to announce on the future of general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
“Our focus right now is on the current season and making the playoffs,” Rogers Media president Keith Pelley said in reply to an email from Sportsnet, “and not on what will or will not transpire in the off-season.”
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Pelley’s comment comes after Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons, citing an anonymous “bevy of major league sources,” reported Sunday that Anthopoulos will remain in his role into the 2015 season and that manager John Gibbons will also return.
Anthopoulos declined comment when reached via text.
Despite some ongoing fan discontent, the news is not wholly surprising as Anthopoulos still has a year remaining on the five-year extension he received following his debut season in 2010. Typically, a GM’s future wouldn’t be discussed between him and ownership unless a contract was being negotiated or a change was being made.
The Blue Jays are in the second season of Anthopoulos’ venture into payrolls well into $100-million territory, with the club in contention for a post-season berth with six weeks left to play after a train-wreck campaign in 2013.
With the ascension of young pitchers Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez to the big-leagues, plus the rapid progress of prospects Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey – all four of whom were drafted under Anthopoulos’ watch – his farm system is beginning to bear fruit.
Using a steady hand Gibbons has managed the team into its current position through a series of challenges, injuries and inconsistencies.
While the report said Gibbons’ contract status for 2015 is uncertain, he is in fact signed for next year and has an option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed if he remains in the job past Dec. 31.
Given the way his contract is structured, another option is added after the year covering an exercised option, meaning his deal won’t expire until he is fired.