GM Alex Anthopoulos’ departure from the Blue Jays’ GM job is connected to the phenomenon of “title inflation” thoughout the industry, FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron writes. Previously, the GM was typically the top executive in charge of baseball personnel decisions, but increasingly, teams are hiring former GMs to be presidents of baseball operations, to whom GMs report. For example, Theo Epstein is the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, while Jed Hoyer is their GM. The Red Sox, Dodgers and several other teams have similar arrangements. In Anthopoulous’ case, the Blue Jays are replacing former president Paul Beeston with Mark Shapiro, who was formerly the Indians’ GM. Under Beeston, who did not have a baseball operations background, Anthopoulos had a great deal of authority to make player personnel moves. The Blue Jays have denied that the nature of Anthopoulos’ job would have changed under Shapiro, and there appear to have been personality differences between Anthopoulos and Shapiro that contributed to Anthopoulos’ decision to leave. One potential portion of the problem, though, likely was the perception (or reality) that the Blue Jays installed a baseball operations employee above Anthopoulos. As Cameron notes, it’s becoming increasingly common for teams to do just that, reducing the power of GMs for a dozen organizations around the game. Perhaps, Cameron suggests, Anthopoulos’ position with his next club could be president of baseball operations. Here’s more from around the game.
- Red Sox lefty Brian Johnson was unharmed in a carjacking yesterday in Florida, Florida Today reports (hat tip: CBS Sports’ David Brown). Johnson was with a group of people at a convenience store when the accused assailant allegedly approached a member of Johnson’s party, demanded the keys to the vehicle in which Johnson was riding, and shot a bullet into the ground, a fragment of which hit one of Johnson’s companions in the leg. Gould was then arrested after a high-speed chase. Johnson, who MLB.com currently ranks the Sox’ fourth-best prospect, is coming off a successful season at Triple-A Pawtucket and made his big-league debut in July.
- Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is about to sign an extension with to stay with the Dodgers, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports (Twitter links). The plan is for Honeycutt to remain as a pitching coach for two more seasons, then transition into a special assistant role. The Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly recently parted ways, of course, but the Dodgers hope that retaining Honeycutt will help the team ease the transition to a new manager.