Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons hasn’t surfaced much, if at all, this offseason.
This isn’t abnormal for a manager, of course, but on Thursday evening, Gibbons joined Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The FAN to discuss the team’s winter to this point and where the team is headed in 2017.
Gibbons’ comments on the upcoming World Baseball Classic were particularly interesting, and likely echo those of many MLB managers whose teams are undergoing a significant level of change this offseason.
“The last one we had [2013 WBC], you think back, was the year we made the deals with Miami and signed Dickey,” Gibbons said.
“For such a new group, I don’t think we had enough time for them together in spring training. That part of it I don’t like.”
This March, one of the biggest talking points around Blue Jays players at the WBC will be potential innings put on young arms, including Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and Roberto Osuna. Russell Martin might be eyeing some innings in the infield, too, at 34 and entering the final three years of a deal that will now pay him $20 million annually.
“Is that really true?” Gibbons asked, laughing.
“I don’t think you can run it that way in the regular season,” Gibbons said. “You can’t do that six months. I guarantee you you’ll blow.”
On Jose Bautista, who is reportedly in “active” talks with the Blue Jays, Gibbons had no further information to offer but expressed his confidence that Bautista would have zero issue returning to Toronto and that locker room despite being forced to take far below what he’d expected in early 2016.
As for Gibbons’ own contract situation entering his final year?
“I’m the least of their worries right now,” he said. “That’s fine with me.”