Gibbons to return in 2016; staff invited back

Gibbons to return in 2016; staff invited back

TORONTO -- John Gibbons will return as the Blue Jays' manager in 2016.

Toronto president Mark Shapiro made the announcement during his introductory news conference on Monday afternoon. Shapiro also said similar invitations for next year were extended to Gibbons' entire coaching staff.

The Blue Jays made a slew of changes to their front office personnel this week, but the arrivals and departures will apparently have no impact on the dugout. According to Shapiro, retaining Gibbons for at least another year was an easy decision to make.

Blue Jays introduce Shapiro

"John Gibbons will be back to manage this team next year," said Shapiro, who officially took over for the retiring Paul Beeston on Monday. "I think his strength, his toughness, his consistency, were the hand that this club needed to ensure they had the year they had.

"It takes a very special person to be able to guide an incredibly talented group of players, like the Blue Jays had. John did an outstanding job and we're extremely excited to have him back next year."

Gibbons' status with the organization had been at least somewhat unclear until Shapiro's news conference. Gibbons managed the Blue Jays from 2004-08, but it was former GM Alex Anthopoulos who brought the veteran skipper back into the fold prior to the '13 season.

Anthopoulos also provided Gibbons with a rather unique contract. He originally received a two-year deal but another season gets tacked annually if Gibbons is not relieved of his duties prior to Jan. 1. Gibbons has a guaranteed contract for next year, and 2017 will be added if he lasts into the New Year.

Gibbons' staff -- bench coach DeMarlo Hale, pitching coach Pete Walker, first-base coach Tim Leiper, third-base coach Luis Rivera and bullpen coach Dane Johnson, among others -- also will be welcomed back into the fold, while Tony LaCava was named the club's new GM on an interim basis.

"Tony has already reached out to every single staff member of the year," Shapiro said. "They're all invited back and we hope to have them back intact next year as well. We expect to."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.