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Blue Jays expected to part ways with John Gibbons after season, per report

It appears as if the veteran manager’s second stint in Toronto will come to an end after this season.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Fancred’s Jon Heyman, there’s a “99.9 percent” chance that the Blue Jays will part ways with manager John Gibbons following the season:

Gibbons is the rare modern-day major-league manager who has had two stints with one franchise, having skippered the Jays from 2004-08 and then again from 2013 until now. He has the second-most seasons managed (11) and wins (783) 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. But as key players such as Edwin Encarnacion and David Price have departed and guys like Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, and Marco Estrada have aged out of their primes — with former superstars Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson arguably falling into both categories — the Blue Jays have fallen from relevance and will almost certainly finish under .500 for the second straight season. Obviously Gibbons has been dealt a tough hand, but the Jays’ front office clearly wants a different voice leading the club as it moves into its next era.

Gibbons, who received an extension prior to last season, is under contract through next year and will still receive his full 2019 salary, per Heyman.

The Blue Jays have never really been an organization that has gone out and hired superstar managers, and it doesn’t appear that they’ll buck the trend with their next hire. Heyman writes that they plan to hire a younger manager who can navigate through a rebuild over the next year or two. One very logical candidate would be 45-year-old Cardinals Triple-A manager Stubby Clapp, a native of Windsor, Ontario who led the Memphis Redbirds to a Pacific Coast League championship last year and has once again led the team to the PCL playoffs this season. 38-year-old John Schneider, who has now been in the organization for 17 years (six as a player, one as a minor-league coach, and 10 as a minor-league manager) would also be an interesting candidate, especially after he managed a New Hampshire Fisher Cats club that featured star prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio to the Eastern League playoffs.