Jeff Passan, over at Yahoo Sports tells us that the Blue Jays were after Dave Dombrowski before the came in and hired him:
The Toronto Blue Jays were pursuing Dave Dombrowski and all that comes with him - the pedigree, the gravitas, the haircut - when in swooped the Boston Red Sox to consummate another shotgun marriage. The Red Sox adore these sorts of dalliances, ones where the names are as big as the fits are questionable.
Of course, in singing Dombrowski, the Red Sox lost their GM Ben Cherington, who figured quitting was the better choice, instead of seeing his power over making player decisions disappear. With Dombrowski in the Team President chair, the GM job would be pretty ceremonial. You won't be making trades or signing free agents anymore. The guy above you will be running things.
Cherington led the Red Sox to a World Series in 2013 and he's built one of the best farm systems in baseball. But then he signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, not exactly something you would want on your resume. He'll likely find another job soon enough, but just don't give him an unlimited budget.
It makes me wonder if Alex Anthopoulos would have left the Jays if they had succeeded in their pursuit of Dombrowski. He seems to be pretty well liked in the MLB, he could likely find another job. I can't imagine he would like having his power taken away. He's had it pretty good, working with Paul Beeston. He seems to be able to do pretty much as he'd like, other than having to stay within a budget, but then, unless he gets a job with the Yankees or Dodgers, he's always going to have to work within a budget.
Ken Rosenthal also wonders if Alex will be leaving the Jays when they find their new team president.
Rival owners surely notice the spikes in the Jays' TV ratings and attendance since Anthopoulos' moves at the nonwaiver deadline. The owners of the Jays, Rogers Communications, surely notice as well, but for almost a year now, Rogers' plan has not exactly been clear.
I guess I'd suggest that Rogers plan is never clear. Or at least it has never been made clear to those of us watching from afar.
I'll admit, I'd rather keep Alex than add Dombrowski or some other big name who would take the president job and push Alex out. I find myself agreeing with Rosenthal on this:
This is not a club that needs to overhaul its baseball operations the way the Red Sox did. This is a club that needs a team president who will focus more on business and updating the Jays' home ballpark, Rogers Centre. Beeston said recently on a radio show that the facility will cost between $200 million and $400 million to upgrade.
Find that guy, and leave the baseball to Anthopoulos. The Jays are sitting on a hot free agent. And they're in danger of letting him slip away.
If the team is going to put in real grass and make all the other upgrades that Rogers Centre needs, they are going to need a strong leader with experience in business end of baseball. Beeston has been doing that job well, but I'd like us to find someone who would maybe push Rogers a little bit more.
I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, between the Blue Jays and Rogers, but, I would think, to get Rogers to pay for real grass, there will have to be a lot of pushing from the Blue Jays side. I'm hoping that the sudden jump in revenue will have Rogers thinking that putting more money into the team is a good thing.
I guess there is the question for us all, would you prefer a strong baseball man and likely lose Anthopoulos or would you prefer someone that would work more on the business side and leave Alex to baseball. Or they could move Alex up, but I do kind like the idea of having a bit of a buffer between him and Rogers. I'd like him to be able to continue to focus on the team and leave things like dealing with the need to improve the stadium to someone else.