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Mark Shapiro to be named Blue Jays president; announcement expected Monday morning

Will Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro head for Toronto, or stay with the team he's been a part of for more than 20 years? (Update: It's the former)

Tom Ondrey

The future of the Cleveland Indians current president Mark Shapiro seems to be becoming clearer. A decision on whether or not he will take over as Toronto Blue Jays president could come as soon as today. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman: "The strong expectation around the game is that he will indeed make the move [to the Toronto Blue Jays], although nothing seems to be set in stone to this point."


UPDATE: Several sources, including Indians own beat writer Jordan Bastian, are now confirming it's a done deal. Mark Shapiro will be leaving the Cleveland Indians to join the Toronto Blue Jays. An official announcement from the Blue Jays is expected to come Monday morning.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Indians will receive no compensation for Shapiro. Even if they did receive something, it probably would not be much anyway.
As expected, Mark Shapiro held a conference Monday morning to announce the move.


Also according to Heyman, Shapiro has been given permission to speak to the Blue Jays, which at least indicates he is interested in the job, despite previously declining to comment on a potential ship-jumping. Should Shapiro take the job in Toronto, Heyman speculates that current Indians general manager Chris Antonetti could take over as team president, with assistant general manager Mike Chernoff taking over as GM.

According to Sportrac, the Blue Jays current payroll sits around $137 million (10th in MLB), which would be a huge change for Shapiro compared to the Indians smaller market $76.5 million (26th in MLB) budget.

Shapiro has been with the Cleveland Indians in various roles for 23 years. He became general manager in 2001, where he was award Sporting News Executive of the Year in 2005 and 2007. When Shapiro was promoted to team president in 2010, Chris Antonetti was promoted to general manager.

While Shaprio has been silent on a potential move, Indians Manager Terry Francona all but confirmed a possible transition when he spoke on an opt-out clause contained in his contract. The clause, which he "fought for" upon first being signed by the Indians, would allow Francona to void his contract with the Indians if Shapiro or Antonetti were to leave the team. But according to Francona, he does not intend to use it as leverage:

When I came here...I came here because of Mark and Chris, because my relationship with them, that's what originally brought me here," Francona said. "Because of that, I guess I wanted a little protection, I don't know if that's the right word, just in case the organization decided to go a different way. I was so close to them, I just believed in them so much that I was pretty adamant. That's probably the only thing I asked for in my contract. I think sometimes guys get country club membership, whatever. I wanted that. Since I've been here, my relationship with them has certainly grown, but also with the other people here, to the point where... I guess my point is I would never use that as leverage and that's not the way, that wasn't the spirit in which it was written, nor would I use it like that.

As of now, Francona is under contract until 2018 with team extensions in 2019 and 2020.