Blue Jays: Gibbons’ job is safe, and here’s why

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 5: Manager John Gibbons
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 5: Manager John Gibbons /

With the Blue Jays finishing the first half at 41-47 and last place in the AL East, calling for Gibby’s job is a popular theme on social media right now. While fans may be frustrated, it would be very surprising to see the Jays make a coaching change any time soon.

The Blue Jays’ first half didn’t go according to plan at all, as they currently sit in last place in the AL East, and 8.5 games back of the division leading Red Sox. They’re also 5.0 games back in the Wild Card standings, but there are eight teams ahead of them in those standings.

The talk has turned from, “who might they bring in?”, to, “how deep will the rebuild go?”, with very few writers or even fans looking for the front office to spend. In a crucial 13 game stretch against the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, and Astros, the team went 5-8 to close out the first half. That stretch was supposed to be the time they made up ground in the standings, not when they dug the hole even deeper.

However, what’s done is done, and the Blue Jays front office will likely have an easier time making decisions before the trade deadline. One decision they’ve likely already made is to keep John Gibbons and his coaching staff around for awhile.

More from Jays Journal

In a difficult stretch with plenty of other headlines, you may have missed that the Blue Jays extended the contracts of Gibbons’ supporting staff earlier this week. The list includes Brook Jacoby (hitting coach), Pete Walker (pitching coach), Tim Leiper (first base coach), Dane Johnson (bullpen coach), and Luis Rivera (third base coach), who’ve all been extended through the 2019 season. The bench coach. DeMarlo Hale, elected to go year to year with his deal, as he’ll presumably pursue a manager’s gig when the opportunity presents itself.

The timing of the announcement was certainly unexpected, especially considering the team had a terrible month of June, and haven’t done much better since the calendar turned to July. Nevertheless, the group that coached the team through the 2015-16 playoff runs had their contracts renewed and lengthened.

This isn’t to say that they won’t get fired at some point before the end of the 2019 season, but it would be pretty foolish of the front office to offer new contracts in July if they had intentions of making changes before, or at the end of the season. It would also be surprising to see them bring back Gibby’s team of coaches, and then dismiss their leader. Most managers like to build their own team of coaches, and I’m sure Gibbons was pleased to see his guys get rewarded for what they’ve done over the last few years, even if this year has been a struggle. His own contract runs through 2019 as well, so the update puts everyone on staff on the same timeline.

I’ll admit, when Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins took over, I figured Gibbons would be let go at the first opportunity, especially when they brought in Eric Wedge to join the organization, who seemed like he was waiting for the Texan manager to falter. This season hasn’t gone well at all, and yet the front office has remained complimentary of Gibbons and his staff.

Next: Blue Jays' Stroman takes All-Star snub personally

And whether you like it or not, it looks like the Blue Jays are sticking with their coaching staff, at least for the immediate future.