GM Alex Anthopoulos leaving Blue Jays, rejects 5-year offer

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TORONTO (AP) -- Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is leaving the team, rejecting a five-year contract extension to remain.

The announcement Thursday comes as former Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro becomes Toronto's new president. Shapiro replaces Paul Beeston, who is retiring.

"After an exciting 2015 season, Alex Anthopoulos has reluctantly and regrettably decided that he is not going to return to the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club for 2016," Beeston said in a statement.

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It also comes less than a week after the Blue Jays were eliminated from the playoffs.

Anthopoulos acquired MVP candidate Josh Donaldson in the offseason and traded for David Price and Troy Tulowitzki before the deadline to give Toronto its first playoff spot since 1993.

Edward Rogers, Chairman of the Toronto Blue Jays and a part of the ownership group, said in a statement that Anthopoulos did a fine job over six seasons.

"We would have loved it if he stayed with the club. Like the fans, we too are disappointed he has chosen not to accept our five-year contract offer, but we wish him the very best," Rogers said. "Alex leaves behind an outstanding front office team and coaching staff that played a key role in shaping the team's great run this season. They will continue to operate in leadership roles next year as we look to build upon the team's success."

Shapiro, who has had several prominent roles in nearly 24 years with Cleveland, is set to become the Blue Jays' president and CEO on Monday. He previously served as general manager of the Indians before being promoted to president. He declined to comment Thursday.

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