Former Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos joins Los Angeles Dodgers
Former Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is back working in baseball again.
The 38-year-old Montreal native will serve as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ vice-president of baseball operations. The National League West division champions announced the move Tuesday on their official Twitter feed.
The hiring reunites Anthopoulos with Ismael Cruz, who served as his former special assistant and director of Latin American operations before joining the Dodgers last November. Anthopoulos will also be working with Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi, a native of Sudbury, Ont.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Alex on board,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations. “Farhan, Josh (Byrnes, SVP of baseball operations), and myself all have long-standing relationships with him and believe his experience and perspective will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
Anthopoulos will assist in all aspects of baseball operations, the Dodgers said in a release.
After building a team that made its first playoff appearance in 22 years and came within two wins of a World Series appearance, Anthopoulos surprised many fans and baseball observers last October by declining a contract offer to return to the Blue Jays.
WATCH: Alex Anthopoulos leaves the Blue Jays just as incoming President Mark Shapiro is set to take over the team. Mark McAllister reports.
Team president Paul Beeston retired a few days later and was replaced by former Cleveland Indians executive Mark Shapiro. Anthopoulos said he didn’t feel a return to the Blue Jays would be a good fit, and he was eventually replaced by Ross Atkins.
Toronto posted average results during most of Anthopoulos’s tenure until a series of trade-deadline moves last summer helped send the team on a second-half surge. The Blue Jays won the East Division crown and beat Texas in the American League Division Series before falling to Kansas City in the ALCS.
Toronto is expected to contend again this year. There are some holes in the pitching staff but the Blue Jays still boast one of the most feared lineups in the major leagues.
The Dodgers are also expected to be strong after a 92-70 campaign last year. Los Angeles fell to the New York Mets in the National League Division Series.
Anthopoulos, who spent 12 years with the Blue Jays, first joined the club as a scouting co-ordinator and had served as GM since 2009. He told The Canadian Press last month that he had some discussions about media opportunities last fall before deciding he would pursue a job on the baseball side of things.
“Just because I’ve done it so long and I’m still young in my baseball career,” Anthopoulos said at the time. “I don’t think I’m prepared to walk away.”
He was named Major League Baseball executive of the year by the Sporting News on the same day he announced that he wouldn’t be returning to the Blue Jays.
Anthopoulos spent his first few years in the sport (2000-’03) in lower-level positions with the Montreal Expos.
© 2016 The Canadian Press