According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, followed by another report by the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott, former Cleveland Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins has been tapped as the Blue Jays' next general manager, winning the role over interim general manager Tony LaCava. According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the official announcement may come as soon as Friday.
Hearing from well-placed source that Ross Atkins is Toronto's new GM.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 3, 2015
Hearing Ross Atkins, Indians VP of player personnel, next Blue Jays GM ... soon ... as we wrote Oct. 29 and Nov. 16 #Jays— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) December 3, 2015
Atkins, 42, has been one of the names rumoured to take over for Alex Anthopoulos due to his ties with Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro from Cleveland. LaCava agreed to a contract extension with the Blue Jays in November, which still applies despite losing the general manager role to Atkins. Since LaCava was going to stick around anyway, why not hire Atkins for the role?
Dannon Ross Atkins was born on August 7, 1973 in Greensboro, North Carolina and he was drafted by the Indians in the 38th round of the 1995 draft. He pitched for five seasons in the minor leagues for the organization between 1995 and 1999, pitching two full years in double-A as a right-handed reliever. In 2000 he worked as Danys Baez's personal pitching coach and English instructor.
According to the Indians media guide, his most recent role with the organization was focused on player development throughout the minor leagues as well as their Latin American operations, as well as to advise the general manager on player evaluations and staffing recommendations. Atkins brings a very extensive resume to the role, having worked as John Farrell's assistant when Farrell was Cleveland's farm director before heading Latin American operations between 2004 and 2006. He became the director of player development in 2007 before being promoted to vice-president of player development in 2011.
Atkins will become the sixth permanent general manager in Blue Jays' history (and third with a surname beginning with an "A"), having preceded by Peter Bavasi (1976-1977), Pat Gillick (1977-1994), Gord Ash (1994-2001), J.P. Ricciardi (2001-2009), and Alex Anthopoulos (2009-2015).
Titles: what are they good for? Tony LaCava goes from Vice President, Baseball Operations and Interim General Manager to Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager while Ross Atkins is now the Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager.
Tony LaCava has been promoted to the position of Senior VP of Baseball Operations and Assistant GM after serving as Interim General Manager— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) December 3, 2015
In a few years, perhaps LaCava will be promoted to general manager and Atkins will become the Super Duper Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations and Senior General Manager.