Atkins will replace Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays' interim general manager. LaCava took the position when Alex Anthropoulous resigned on October 29, rejecting a five-year contract extension. The organization will retain LaCava and promote him to senior vice president of baseball operations.
The 42-year-old Atkins has been with the Cleveland Indians for the past fifteen years. His latest role with the club was to oversee the team's player development.
Atkins will again be reporting to Blue Jays' president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro, who worked in the Indians organization himself from 1991 until this August. Shapiro's last role with Cleveland was identical to his current role with Toronto.
The Blue Jays have already been busy this offseason, but not under Atkins' leadership. They re-signed starting pitcher Marco Estrada to a two-year, $22 million deal and signed fellow starter J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal.
The Blue Jays went 93-69 in 2015 and were defeated by the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series. This was their first postseason appearance since 1993.
Toronto will still have work to do this offseason to solidify their rotation and set their 2016 roster. They now will have a permanent general manager doing just that.