New Years is Christmas for Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons and his contract


For the Toronto Blue Jays, players, fans, media, and front office alike, the passage of 2014 to 2015 is something to look forward to. It marks a new beginning and a fresh start, a point from which to look forward to what is to come. And no one person was looking for that transition more than manager John Gibbons.

The yearly passage of the year is a special time for John Gibbons, as a unique clause in his contract brings with it a late Christmas bonus; another guaranteed year on his deal with the Blue Jays.

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As Shi Davidi at Sportsnet reminds us, if Gibbons is still the Blue Jays manager when the year changes over, his contract for the season after next is guaranteed. So instead of the coach turning back into a pumpkin at midnight, Toronto’s Cinderella of a manager had his 2016 contract guaranteed and another option year with the same stipulation added to the end of the deal.

Essentially speaking, Gibbons is guaranteed to get paid. He will never enter a season as a lame duck with the Blue Jays. That doesn’t mean he’ll never be on the hot seat, as he can be fired at any time the team feels the need to do so. However, if he is let go, Gibbons is guaranteed his salary for at least the next season, as it would have already been guaranteed as of January 1st the prior season.

While that figure is not known, or at least I couldn’t find a record of it, you can imagine it is at least a decent golden parachute to have in hand.

Since returning to the helm in Toronto prior to the 2013 season, John Gibbons has led the Blue Jays to a record of 157-167. However, the team saw some solid improvements from 2013 to 2014, moving from a 5th place finish in the former (74-88) to a 3rd place standing last season (83-79) and held the division lead for a majority of the first half of the season.

Of course, baseball is very much a business of “what have you done for me lately” and the pressure will be on Gibbons to deliver a winner in 2015. With additions of Russell Martin, Josh Donaldson, and Michael Saunders, along with the further development of young arms like Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, and Aaron Sanchez, the Blue Jays have the makings of a contender this coming season. Anything less could result in the dismissal of Gibbons and possibly General Manager Alex Anthopoulos.

But at least Gibbons will have that golden parachute to soften the landing if it comes to that.