Blue Jays remove interim tag from manager John Schneider

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 03: Interim Manager John Schneider #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 03, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays are bringing back manager John Schneider, signing him to a three-year contract after leading the team to a Wild Card berth

The Toronto Blue Jays have found the manager they believe is the one to help this young roster reach its full potential.

John Schneider, who took over as interim manager on July 13, had that label removed on Friday when the Blue Jays signed him to a three-year contract that will keep him at the helm through 2025, with a team option for 2026.

“I am honoured, excited, and deeply humbled to continue leading this extraordinary group of players, coaches, and staff. This organization has made me feel at home since day one,” Schneider said. “So many people have had a hand in helping me get here, and becoming manager of the Blue Jays is not something I take lightly. My family and I love Toronto and I can’t wait to build upon an already great group of players and bring a World Series back to all our fans across Canada.”

Schneider’s promotion to full-time manager comes after he turned around a team with such high expectations in 2022. In early July, the Blue Jays were floundering just above .500 and lost nine of 11 games. They had dropped to fourth in the AL East and 16.5 games behind the division-leading New York Yankees. General Manager Ross Atkins believed a change had to be made, and Charlie Montoyo, the Blue Jays’ manager since 2019, was fired.

In came Schneider, who had served as Montoyo’s bench coach after a career spent entirely in the organization. He played six seasons in the Blue Jays minor league system before transitioning to coaching in 2008.

Schneider has a long history with Blue Jays’ core players

His greatest asset when he took over the Blue Jays was his relationship with the players. He managed Double-A New Hampshire back in 2018, with a lineup that included Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, and Jordan Romano, to an Eastern League championship in 2018. His connection with catcher Danny Jansen went back nearly a decade when he managed the first-year pro in the Gulf Coast League in 2013.

The Blue Jays responded to their new manager. Under Schneider, the Blue Jays went 46-28, a 100-win pace that was the third-best record in the American League. The lineup ranked 11th in runs scored under Montoyo; they were second under Schneider, trailing only the Dodgers and scoring 20 more runs than any other team in the AL. They were more aggressive on the bases, attempting five more steals than they did under Montoyo in 14 fewer games.

Securing the first Wild Card spot in the AL, a promising postseason run came to a disappointing end when they lost a seven-run lead in the second game of a two-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners. Schneider’s decisions, particularly his removal of starter Kevin Gausman, were questioned.

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The front office, though, saw enough from Schneider to commit to him for the next three seasons. The players believe in him; the organization has now shown they do, too.

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