Since announcing the departure of manager John Gibbons, the Blue Jays have begun their search for a new skipper as they look to return to contention for the first time since back-to-back playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016. The search is underway, with GM Ross Atkins already having conducted a number of preliminary interviews over the phone.
As we have done with other openings of this kind, we’ll use this post to track the most recent developments in the hiring process in Toronto.
Latest Update – October 13
The Blue Jays plan to bring in five candidates and maybe more for in-person interviews beginning early next week, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. The Blue Jays have cast a wide net in finding their Gibbons replacement – and though this process may not wrap up until the end of next week or later – they are mindful of the concurrent managerial searches around the league and willing to ramp up the speed if need be.
There are a number of notable candidates from outside the Blue Jays organization who are believed to have been considered by Toronto brass, with many receiving phone interviews. Among those considered: Giants’ VP of Player Development David Bell (also considered a potential frontrunner for the opening in Cincinnati), long-time managerial candidate Sandy Alomar Jr., former Yankees and Marlins manager Joe Girardi, recent Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, current ESPN broadcaster Eduardo Perez, current Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Tampa Bay Rays major-league field coordinator Rocco Baldelli and Phillies bench coach Rob Thompson.
Additionally, an interesting pair of ex-Blue-Jays, in Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward and Indians field staff defensive coordinator John McDonald, as well as Stubby Clapp, who has won back-to-back manager of the year awards while managing the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.
Previous names linked to the opening by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal include former Cleveland skipper Eric Wedge and MLB Network analyst Dave Valle (twitter links). Who among this lengthly list of names will be brought in for in-person interviews is not yet clear.
Atkins noted the ability to communicate effectively throughout the entire organization to be a quality they seek in their next manager. Thus, candidates already entrenched in the culture and mores of the Toronto organization to be given a look include: Gibbons’ bench coach DeMarlo Hale, Triple-A manager Bobby Meacham, and Double-A manager John Schneider.