Alex Anthopoulos will become the next General Manager of the Atlanta Braves, according to multiple reports.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported the news late Sunday night on the eve of the annual GM Meetings. The Braves have not yet confirmed the hiring. An official announcement is likely to come on Monday.
Sherman also reported that John Hart will be staying with the Braves for now, but Anthopoulos will have the final say for baseball decisions.
Anthopoulos, 40, was born in Canada and has spent the last two years working as the Dodgers VP of Baseball Operations. He served as the Toronto Blue Jays GM from the end of 2009 to 2015, leading the Jays to a 489-483 record and the 2015 ALCS. He was named the 2015 Executive of the Year by Sporting News following that playoff run.
Anthopoulos turned down a five-year contract extension from Toronto at the conclusion of the 2015 season after Mark Shapiro was hired as President and CEO.
Anthopoulos is regarded throughout the industry as a sharp, analytically-driven baseball mind who helped change the clubhouse culture in Toronto. Despite what could’ve been a messy divorce from the Jays (more on that here), he exited gracefully and is still well-liked in Toronto.
Anthopoulous is not going to be shy when it comes to trading and signing players. Among the players he either shipped out or brought into Toronto: Roy Halladay (RIP), Vernon Wells, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey, Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and Noah Syndergaard. There were hits and there were misses, but no one will accuse Anthopoulos of sitting back and doing nothing. It will be fascinating to see what he does with the farm system.
We learned on Sunday night that Dayton Moore was no longer an option for the Braves’ vacancy. Anthopoulos and former Cubs GM Jim Hendry were viewed as the top two candidates, though Anthopoulos was considered the favorite. It sounds as if the Braves formally interviewed 4-5 candidates.
More to come...