Ross Atkins met with the media for a post-season scrum, and had several notable quotes for us to chew on throughout the offseason, including how the organization plans to approach their search for the next manager.
While many of the Blue Jays’ players will get to go home and rest their tired bodies, the front office will be hard at work in the coming weeks now that the offseason is here early.
Ross Atkins was certainly on the clock on Tuesday when he met with the media in Toronto and addressed several key topics from the season. He talked again about the end of John Gibbons’ tenure in Toronto, the roster picture that the team could be looking at next year, and many more significant topics.
There was a lot to unpack for sure, but a few things definitely stuck out to me.
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One of them was that Atkins revealed how the Blue Jays plan to approach their search for their next manager. When Atkins and Mark Shapiro arrived in Toronto to take over the front office, Gibbons was already installed as their bench boss. When things went well and they returned to the playoffs in the 2016 season, they really didn’t have much choice but to roll with their inherited skipper.
It worked out fine for quite a while, but now Atkins and Shapiro are going to be search for their next on-field partner, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a small or short process.
Atkins told reporters that they expect to interview as many as 10 or more candidates, and that they’ll “cast as wide a net as time and bandwidth can handle”. He also mentioned that they’re still at the stage that they’re gathering information on who they may include in the interview process.
Mike Wilner of Rogers Sportsnet was kinda enough to provide a “thread of paraphrased quotes from Atkins’ end of season presser, which included several other tidbits beyond just the stuff about the next manager. However, he also included a few other key points like:
- Being able to speak Spanish helps, but isn’t a requirement
- Seeing the success of the Rookie managers in New York and Boston didn’t change their perspective. They still want a guy with “experience leading”
- Someone they “align with from a value perspective”
- Lots of support from the other teams around baseball
That last point may be part of why the Blue Jays are going to wait for at least a week before pushing ahead with the process. The vast majority of teams want to see their own system coaches keep getting promoted and climbing the ladder, even if it doesn’t always happen within their own organization.
At this stage they still don’t have a full list of who may be available for hire, especially since teams are still making decisions about their current coaching staffs. For example, the Twins dismissed Paul Molitor yesterday and it’s possible the Blue Jays could want to speak with him now that he’s looking for a job. Other names that have come up include possible choices like Eric Wedge, their own DeMarlo Hale, Stubby Clapp, John Schneider, and several more.
Chances are the managerial search will be at the top of the list for the front office until it’s resolved, so it’ll be a situation worth monitoring to be sure.