The Blue Jays have officially removed the interim label from John Schneider, announcing today that the 42-year-old has been hired as the team’s manager. Schneider was signed to a three-year contract, with a club option for the 2026 season.
A longtime member of the Jays organization, Schneider was promoted to the bench coach job prior to the 2022 season, but he took over as interim manager when Charlie Montoyo was fired on July 13. Toronto held a 46-42 record at the time of Montoyo’s firing, but had played inconsistent baseball to that point, and was in the midst of a major slump that cost Montoyo his job.
This opened the door for Schneider, who stabilized matters by leading the Blue Jays to a 46-28 record over the remainder of the season. Toronto captured the top wild card spot in the American League, though the Jays’ playoff trip was both short-lived and painful — the Mariners swept the Blue Jays in the Wild Card Series, as the Jays were shut out in Game 1 and then suffered a major bullpen breakdown in Game 2.
Despite the postseason disappointment, there was a sense that Schneider had done enough to earn the full-time managerial job. He reportedly has plenty of support from within the clubhouse, and while Jays GM Ross Atkins left a bit of wiggle room during his recent end-of-season meeting with the media, he also stated that “it will be very difficult for us to find better than John Schneider” as the team’s next bench boss.
Schneider has spent his entire pro career with the Blue Jays, starting when he was a 13th-round pick for the club in the 2002 draft. After six seasons in the minors, Schneider retired from playing due to injuries and moved into the coaching ranks, slowly working his way up the organizational ladder. Schneider managed the Blue Jays’ rookie ball affiliate, both A-ball affiliates, and the Double-A affiliate from 2008-18, before receiving a promotion to the big league coaching staff prior to the 2019 season. As it happened, Schneider’s climb coincided with the progress of several of Toronto’s young stars, so he was a familiar face in the dugout once the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Jordan Romano, and others arrived in the big leagues.
The early returns on Schneider as a Major League manager are promising, and the three-year deal represents the front office’s confidence in their new skipper. However, Schneider faces immediate pressure as the leader of a team that has World Series aspirations, yet fell so devastatingly short in 2022. Schneider’s own decision-making drew criticism following the epic Game 2 collapse, though in the view of the front office, the outcome of one game (important as that game was) wasn’t enough to erase Schneider’s work as manager over the previous three months.
Schneider becomes the third interim manager to receive a full promotion for 2023, following the Phillies’ Rob Thomson and the Angels’ Phil Nevin. With Toronto finalizing their managerial situation, that leaves the White Sox, Royals, Marlins, and Rangers as the teams still looking to find a new skipper.