Shapiro reportedly a candidate to be Jays president

Shapiro reportedly a candidate to be Jays president

NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays' search for a replacement for outgoing president and CEO Paul Beeston has reportedly expanded to Cleveland.

On Thursday, FOXSports.com reported that Indians team president Mark Shapiro has emerged as a "strong candidate" to replace Beeston, who plans to retire at the end of the season. When asked about the report, Shapiro declined comment to MLB.com.

Shapiro was also linked to the same role with Toronto last offseason, when Beeston had plans of retiring before signing a one-year extension with the Blue Jays. Toronto also reportedly talked to Dan Duquette of the Orioles and Ken Williams of the White Sox last winter, and the Blue Jays were more recently tied to former Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Dombrowski was hired earlier this week as the new president of baseball operations for the Red Sox.

What is unclear at the moment is how a potential move to Toronto for the 48-year-old Shapiro would impact the front-office structure in either city.

In Cleveland, Chris Antonetti has served as the GM under Shapiro since 2010, when Shapiro moved out of the GM role and took over as the Indians' president. Indians manager Terry Francona -- hired prior to the 2013 season -- has language in his contract that would allow him to potentially opt out if either Shapiro or Antonetti leaves the organization. In Toronto, GM Alex Anthopoulos' contract expires on Oct. 31.

Shapiro initially joined the Indians in 1992 and steadily worked his way up the organizational ladder. He served as the team's farm director from '93-98, worked as an assistant GM from 1999-2000 and the GM of the club from '01-10. In 2009, Shapiro was also named to the Commissioner's committee for on-field matters. As team president, Shapiro has helped oversee sweeping renovations of Progressive Field over the past year.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.