With the signing of manager John Schneider to a three-year deal contract, plus a team option for a fourth year, the Toronto Blue Jays leadership is now secured in place through the 2026 season. Team president and CEO Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins had previously signed five-year extensions through 2026 last year.
As predicted back in 2021, Schneider is now Atkins’ third manager in his seven years at the helm of the baseball operations since taking over in November of 2015. John Gibbons was retained as the incumbent manager when Atkins was hired by Shapiro and helped run the team back to the 2016 ALCS. Their record from 2016-18 under Gibby was 238-248 (.490).
Charlie Montoyo was hired ahead of the 2019 season and put up a 236-236 (.500) record before his firing on July 13th earlier this season, after a disastrous 1-6 west coast road trip. Schneider then led the team to a 46-28 record (.622), and the top Wild Card seeding.
That puts the Jays’ record under the current front office at 520-512 (.504). That stretch includes two 2nd place finishes, one 3rd place, and four 4th place finishes in the AL East, plus three postseason appearances. Unfortunately, the Jays have lost eight of their last nine playoff games, and haven’t advanced past the Wild Card round since 2016.
Should the Blue Jays consider replacing general manager Ross Atkins?
Of course that includes a full teardown and rebuilding by the 2019 season, when the team lost 95 games and finished 36.0 games out of first place in the AL East. It also includes the bizarre 2020 pandemic season, and a vagabond-like existence in 2021, when the Blue Jays called three ballparks “home” in Dunedin, Buffalo, and finally back to Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The Jays have just put up back-to-back 90+ win seasons, and they were the top AL Wild Card seed in 2022, with 92 wins and a +96 run differential. John Schneider had them playing at a 101-win pace after taking over from Montoyo, and let’s not forget the team was ahead 8-1 in the 6th inning of game two of the Wild Card series earlier this month against Seattle, with a 99% chance of winning that game. Even entering the eighth inning, FanGraphs noted that,
"A four-run lead as the home team entering the top half of the eighth represents a 96.9% win probability, because teams realistically do not make up that large of a deficit in such a limited number of opportunities."