The Blue Jays will part ways with manager John Gibbons following the season, as SportsNet’s Shi Davidi first reported on Wednesday:
#BlueJays will announce that John Gibbons won’t be returning as manager for 2019 season today, per multiple industry sources. Announcement will be confirming what’s been known for weeks.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 26, 2018
Davidi’s report is essentially just a confirmation of what Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman reported several weeks ago — that there was a “99.9 percent chance of Gibbons being replaced — and it feels like an obvious move, considering that the Jays are currently 71-87, finished 76-86 last year and appear headed for a youth movement.
Gibbons is the rare major-league manager in this day and age who has had two stints with one franchise, having served as Toronto’s bench boss from 2004-08 and then again from 2013 until now. He has the second-most seasons managed (11) and wins (791) in franchise history, trailing Cito Gaston in both categories, and under his watch the Blue Jays snapped out of a 21-year playoff drought and reached the ALCS for two straight seasons in 2015-16.
Davidi writes that the 56-year-old Gibbons doesn’t want to retire and will look for another managerial job. With the Blue Jays paying him his full salary during the final season of his contract next year, though, he may want to take a year off.