APRIL 1: The deal is now complete, as Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweets.
MARCH 22, 7:54am: An agreement is in place, with the full deal “basically finished,” according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
MARCH 21, 4:23pm: The extension would cover the 2018 and 2019 seasons, according to the MLB Network Radio Twitter feed. The Jays would also have a club option on Gibbons for 2020.
11:58am: The Blue Jays are “finalizing” a new contract with skipper John Gibbons that will keep him in Toronto for multiple future seasons, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reported last week on Twitter that the club believed it would likely strike such a deal with the manager.
Gibbons, 54, is in his second stint as the head of the Jays’ field staff. He has delivered three consecutive winning campaigns and guided the club to the postseason in each of the past two seasons, both of which ended with ALCS losses. All said, Gibbons carries a 644-614 record over parts of nine seasons as the Toronto skipper.
When the Jays changed front-office leadership last winter, the organization renegotiated its agreement with Gibbons to eliminate the anti-lame duck provision that had previously governed. Under the earlier deal, the team faced a decision on January 1st of each year. If Gibbons was still in his position at that point, the following year’s option would be picked up automatically and a new option year would arise.
With that new arrangement in place, 2016 figured to represent an important campaign as president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins assessed the organization and Gibbons’s leadership. As it turned out, the skipper drew high praise from Shapiro at the close of the campaign, when it was announced that Gibbons would return. Now, it seems there’ll be a lengthier commitment binding Gibbons to the Jays.