Shapiro: Atkins will remain Blue Jays GM

Shapiro: Atkins will remain Blue Jays GM

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins “will be back” in his role despite a disappointing sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Twins in the wild-card series, president and CEO Mark Shapiro confirmed Thursday, according to TSN.

Shapiro added that over eight seasons with the club, Atkins’ “body of work is undeniable.”

“You’re not evaluating on a series or even a season. … Whether it’s three of the last four years in the postseason (or) building out great resources (and) hiring a great leadership team that’s been successful both internationally and domestically,” Shapiro said.

“We need to get better,” he added. “Ross needs to get better, but he’s done a good job. (He’s) put us in a good position next year to be a very good team and certainly deserves that opportunity to continue to lead the baseball organization.”

Shapiro also acknowledged that he feels the burden of an early playoff exit after his club entered the season with World Series aspirations.

“It’s not acceptable for us to have fallen short of expectations. … When we fall short of expectations, that responsibility and that accountability clearly lies with me,” the 56-year-old said, according to Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.

Shapiro said the organization has “to be more clear (and) more transparent” in its communication following the contentious move to pull right-hander José Berríos early in Game 2 against the Twins.

“I think the relationships, in general, are pretty strong,” Shapiro said when asked about the players’ reactions to the Berríos decision. “But what has been clear is we had probably made an assumption that there was a clarity (about the strategy).”

The top executive said there’s “no awkwardness” between Atkins and manager John Schneider despite mixed messages about who was responsible for the costly Berríos plan, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. The GM said the skipper was the decision-maker during his press conference Saturday.

Shapiro also defended the team’s trade for Daulton Varsho, which sent catching prospect Gabriel Moreno and fan favorite Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“You can’t evaluate a trade in the short term, you’ve got to give it four or five years to understand whether a trade was effective or not,” Shapiro said.

“You can’t evaluate a trade in the short term, you’ve got to give it four or five years to understand whether a trade was effective or not.”

Mark Shapiro speaks on the Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for Daulton Varsho trade.

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 12, 2023

Moreno has played an instrumental role in helping the D-Backs reach the NLCS for the first time since 2007, while Gurriel became an All-Star this season heading into free agency. Meanwhile, Varsho struggled at the plate but provided excellent defense in the outfield.

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