Charlie Montoyo and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a contract extension that will keep Montoyo with the club through 2023.
The Puerto Rican native was hired by the club in 2019 and since then has managed the Jays to a combined 190-194 record over the last three seasons, including a playoff appearance in 2020 and a 91 win season in 2021.
Montoyo originally signed a three-year contract when he was hired in 2018, with a club option for this season. The new contract also features a couple of club options that the Jays can exercise after the 2024 and 2025 campaigns.
Originally a product of the Tampa Bay Rays coaching tree, Montoyo managed the Rays AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls, from 2007 to 2014 before getting promoted to be the Rays’ third base coach and bench manager under current anmager Kevin Cash.
Noted for his player development skills, Montoyo has been a near-perfect fit for this young Jays team, a club that has now officially burst through their competitive window. His ability to connect with both English and Spanish-speaking players is a huge plus as he has steered the Jays to an improved record every year since he was hired. In fact, take away the 95-loss rebuilding season in 2019, the Blue Jays’ record under Montoyo would be 123-99.
Granted, take away a 90+ loss season from any manager’s record and it would look better, hopefully. Montoyo’s ascension to the managerial role with the Jays coincided with the team’s painful rebuilding period. Gone were the days of Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, and the back-to-back ALCS appearances. Expectations for the Jays, competitive-wise, were low. Fans and team officials understood that the club was not gonna return to the playoffs for a couple of years, what mattered was the development and growth of their star prospects.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo signs a contract extension that should keep him with the club through 2023, with club options after 2024 and 2025.
In that respect, I think it’s fair to say that Montoyo has succeeded. The Jays’ young stars have exploded into superstardom and the front office has supplemented the roster with key free agents and trade acquisitions.
The window is fully open, with many expecting the Blue Jays to challenge for the AL East crown this season. Expectations are now high and any sort of failure will be met with valid criticism of Montoyo and his staff.
Baseball managers are doomed to compile unfair criticism. The success or failure of each individual decision completely hinges on whether any given player can competently do their job. A good team makes a good manager, a bad team makes a bad one. How is a manager’s success evaluated? By their wins and losses. Perhaps an unfair assessment, especially since modern baseball has weaned off that statistic when it comes to judging pitchers’ success.
Then again, teams are judged successful based on how many games they win, so why not the manager? Like all coaches, managers have to be good communicators and if they want to stay employed they have to eventually win games and gain and maintain the faith of the front office that hired them.
The Blue Jays front office has shown faith in Montoyo, first by hiring him as an unproven managerial rookie in 2019, then by inking him to this new extension. Now it’s up to him to show why their faith is not misplaced. It’s Montoyo’s ship for the foreseeable future and with the club entering the prime of its competitive window, expectations could not be higher.