Well, for all of you naysayer Blue Jays fans that were advocating for manager John Gibbons to find another home this winter, your New Year isn’t starting off as well as you could have hoped.
According to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, the riding option for manager John Gibbons has been activated and the Blue Jays have guaranteed that he will at least be paid for the 2015 season as well.
The clause was initially put into the contract so that Gibbons never had to go through a season with worries that he would not be brought back the following season, an option similar to the one the Boston Red Sox had with knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield year ago. The clause also creates a perpetual new clause for the following year, which if Gibbons has not been fired prior to January 1st of any given year, his contract for the following calendar year becomes guaranteed.
If only we could all have the luxury of such a golden parachute.
That’s not going to sit well with some Blue Jays fans, who saw a formerly fiery Gibbons become a passive version of himself in 2013 and felt that he wasn’t the leader the team needed after going all in on players the previous winter. While it doesn’t guarantee that Gibbons will actually manage the team in 2015, only a strong 2014 will guarantee that, it does mean that Toronto will be on the hook for whatever contract value they have him inked to.
Gibbons is hoping it doesn’t come to that though, as he is hoping the Blue Jays rebound strongly in 2014 and capture some of the potential that they promised a year ago, especially after such high profile additions as Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera, and R.A. Dickey.
Barring any additions this winter, the team will swing in to Florida with roughly the same roster as a year ago, minus the losses of Josh Johnson and Rajai Davis. Whether that roster is good enough to put last year behind them and compete in the tough American League East remains to be seen.
“We didn’t answer the bell last year, but now it’s time to do it. Are we going to be ready coming out of spring training? We need a good start. Coming off the year we had in our division, we buried ourselves early last year, and we can’t afford that.”
No sir, the Blue Jays can’t afford to do it, and neither can you.