Arizona Coyotes May Be Targeting Alex Anthopoulos


Rumors are swirling that the Arizona Coyotes are targeting former Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos.

Numerous reports, originating in Canada say that the Arizona Coyotes are having conversations with former Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos. The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reports:

"“Two sources have now confirmed that the Arizona Coyotes have reached out to the former general manager of the Blue Jays, with the hopes he would consider a senior position, or a consulting position with the National Hockey League team.”"

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Anthopoulos recently left the Blue Jays organization after rejecting a contract offer from the team. The reasons for the decision to move  are being kept close to his vest. In an article published in the Globe and Mail, Anthopoulos went on to say:

"“I just think there’s certain things that should remain private and behind closed doors, and I know sometimes that’s hard to hear, and hard to understand. I just think it’s the right thing for the organization and the ball club, and everybody involved.”"

Recent changes in upper management of the Blue Jays is assumed to be the reason for the move. The Blue Jays recently hired Mark Shapiro as their new President and CEO. With that change, it is speculated that the amount of automony enjoyed by Anthopoulos in the past was going to be curtailed under the new regime.

Anthopoulos was named in October as the Sporting News MLB Executive of the Year for 2015. A panel of 47 Major League executives selected him for the award.

According to the Sun’s Simmons, the interest of the Coyotes came as a surprise to Anthopoulos. The Coyotes front office called him “right after he walked away from the Jays….and caught him by complete surprise”. The Coyotes Assistant General Manager, John Chayka knows Anthopoulos through analytics work.  The Coyotes brought Chayka on board this year to develop their analytics program. It seems possible that the Coyotes would want to bring the former Blue Jays GM into their front office to help with the hockey analytics piece.

Anthopoulos’ career has solely been in the halls of baseball. He started his career with the old Montreal Expos as a mail-room intern, and eventually moved to scouting.

He moved to the Blue Jays in 2003 to be their scouting coordinator, and in 2005 was named Toronto’s Assistant General Manager. In 2009 Anthopoulos took over the GM role for the team.

If the Coyotes and Anthopoulos come to an agreement, it could be a stroke of genius by the Arizona front office.

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Anthopoulos is highly regarded in baseball circles for his use of analytics in the reconstruction of the Blue Jays.  The Arizona Coyotes should be applauded for being willing to think outside of the box to improve themselves and their players.