JANUARY 12: The Dodgers have announced Anthopoulos’s hiring as vice president of baseball operations.
JANUARY 5: Former Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, whose resignation at season’s end shocked many in the baseball world, will join the Dodgers’ front office and work alongside GM Farhan Zaidi, according to multiple reports, including one from Vince Cauchon of Radio X in Quebec, who was the first to report the hiring earlier today (via Twitter). Cauchon seems to imply that a deal is in place, and Jon Heyman tweets that an agreement is being finalized. All told, it seems likely that the team will announce the hire in the near future. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times writes the move is “expected” to be completed soon, though no specific role has been determined at this point.
The 38-year-old Anthopoulos will become the sixth member of the Dodgers’ front office that is either a current or former GM, joining president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, Zaidi, senior vice president Josh Byrnes, senior advisor Ned Colletti and special advisor Gerry Hunsicker. Byrnes has previously served as the GM of the Padres and D-backs, while Colletti was the Dodgers’ GM before the current regime inherited baseball operations autonomy. Hunsicker spent roughly a decade as the Astros’ GM.
Anthopoulos was named the Sporting News’ executive of the year in 2015 on the heels of a number of high-profile trades that culminated in a division title and ALCS run for the Blue Jays, snapping a 22-year playoff drought in Toronto. The acquisitions of Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and David Price stand out as perhaps the most memorable trades, but Anthopoulos also acquired LaTroy Hawkins, Mark Lowe and Ben Revere in addition to signing Russell Martin to a five-year contract in the offseason. However, with CEO Paul Beeston set to retire in Toronto, ownership sought a replacement and reportedly offered former Indians GM/president Mark Shapiro final say in baseball operations decisions as a means of luring him to Toronto. That promise is said to have led to Anthopoulos’ resignation, despite the fact that he was offered an extension prior to his departure.
Anthopoulos will add to a growing collection of well-respected baseball minds working to shape the Dodgers, though his specific role remains unclear, as does the number of teams that expressed interest in hiring him. Anthopoulos told the Canadian Press last month that he’d received interest from a variety of teams and media outlets and was expecting to take a job with a team in January. One report even mentioned that the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes had interest in bringing Anthopoulos on board in their front office. That would’ve made him the second notable baseball executive to change sports this month — Paul DePodesta reportedly is leaving the Mets to join the Cleveland Browns’ front office (as explained on MLBTR and on Pro Football Rumors earlier today) — but it seems that Anthopoulos will instead remain in the game with which he has been involved since 2000.