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John Gibbons Rumors
Alex Anthopoulos will remain the GM of the Blue Jays following the 2014 season, reports Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun. Anthopoulos has been under some scrutiny from fans, media, and even players over his failure to make a big acquisition at the trade deadline. The Blue Jays have begun to lag in the AL playoff picture. They are four games back in the Wild Card race, but would have to pass the Mariners, Tigers, and Yankees to claim the second spot. One reason ownership is patient with Anthopoulos is the emergence of pitchers Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and minor leaguer Daniel Norris. Anthopoulos is signed through 2015.
- Also from Simmons, the Jays never actually approached ownership about expanding payroll because a deal was never close. Front office personnel do believe that more money is available for the right player.
- Related to a deal not being close, the Rays apparently wanted both Stroman and Hutchison in return for David Price. In my opinion, it’s understandable why that offer didn’t get anywhere. The Jays would have upgraded one rotation spot while creating a potential hole with another.
- Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media, says the club is focused on the 2014 playoff run and has not evaluated offseason options, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. That would seemingly contradict Simmons’ report, although such comments are often pure double talk.
- Davidi also illuminated manager John Gibbons’ contract situation. Gibbons is signed through 2015 and will have a vesting option for 2016 triggered after December 31. His contract is structured to continuously add such options until it is terminated.
The 2015 option in the contract of Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is now guaranteed, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, by operation of a unique clause in his deal. Designed to avoid a "lame duck" situation, the clause guarantees Gibbons' option because he was not fired before the start of the new year.
As the clause further provides, Toronto also acquires a 2016 option to retain Gibbons. In essence, as Nicholson-Smith explains, the contract is something of a "perpetual two-year deal": should Gibbons hold on through January 1, 2015, the same clause would again be triggered in like manner.
Under Gibbons last year, the Jays disappointed with a 74-88 record. The once-and-current Toronto skipper says he hopes to have his club prepared for a fast start to the season coming out of Spring Training. Last year, he noted, the team was "buried" in the division early on.
Despite a disappointing 2013 season, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will be back in 2014, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm reports. "I actually think [regarding] the in-game managing, he has done a great job," says GM Alex Anthopoulos. "I think it's so easy to pin results on one person. I think it's convenient. I could say that for myself. I could say that for certain players, for the manager. I just don't think blame falls on one person." Anthopoulos adds that the Jays have not considered firing Gibbons. Here's more out of Toronto.
- The Jays don't expect their payroll to decrease, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets. That doesn't necessarily mean Toronto will go crazy spending in the offseason, however. The Jays had an Opening Day payroll of about $119MM in 2013, and already has about $110MM in obligations for 2014, despite Josh Johnson being eligible for free agency — Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey are set to receive raises totaling almost $20MM.
- By not firing Gibbons, Anthopoulos showed he wasn't looking for a scapegoat for the team's problems, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca says. Instead, Anthopoulos suggests he needs to investigate the Jays' issues with injuries. "I know injuries happen but we have had our fair share the past two years and that’s something we need to look at," Anthopoulos says. Davidi notes that the Red Sox have enjoyed a dramatic decrease in injuries after restructuring their medical staff last offseason. Of course, as Davidi points out, causation isn't easy to prove there, but it's still worth investigating why, for example, the Jays have suffered so many oblique injuries in 2012 and 2013.