Former Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is heading to the World Series with the Atlanta Braves after making a big push to bolster his roster at the trade deadline.
Atlanta’s president of baseball operations and general manager watched the Braves book a date with the Houston Astros by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 in Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday.
Like in 2015 with the Jays, Anthopoulos made big moves prior to the ’21 trade deadline — acquiring outfielders Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler, catcher Stephen Vogt and reliever Richard Rodriguez — to help the Braves capture the NL East title.
“They were playing tough the whole way. They grinded and grinded and grinded. We were right there. We were close,” Anthopoulos said in an on-field interview after the game. “(Braves chairman) Terry McGuirk came to me at the All-Star break and said you’ve got whatever you need to get this club better and we went full speed ahead.”
Anthopoulos left the Blue Jays after guiding the team to the ALCS in 2015, ending a 22-year playoff drought.
The Montreal native spent the next two seasons as vice-president of baseball operations for the Dodgers before becoming the Braves’ GM in 2017.
Anthopoulos’ teams have made the playoffs every year since 2015.
Anthopoulos, who started his career as an intern with the Montreal Expos in 2000 before joining the Jays’ scouting staff in 2003, isn’t the only Canadian connection with the Braves.
Ace starter Mike Soroka of Calgary has missed the entire year because of a knee injury, while first baseman Freddie Freeman’s parents are Canadian and he represented Canada at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.