The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly decided who will lead their team into the 2013 season, and it's a familiar face.
According to Toronto Sun reporter Bob Elliott, the Blue Jays will bring John Gibbons back to the bench next season. As noted in the report, Gibbons "managed the Blue Jays for parts of five seasons from 2004 to 2008" and "will be introduced Tuesday morning as their next manager."
UPDATE: Tuesday, November 20 at 11:21 a.m. ET
Gibbons' contract details are starting to emerge as Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi reports that Gibbons received a two-year deal from the Blue Jays.
#Jays give John Gibbons two-year deal with an option for a third.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 20, 2012
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UPDATE: Tuesday, November 20 at 8:36 a.m. ET
It's official, the Blue Jays announced this morning that John Gibbons is the team's new manager.
OFFICIAL: @bluejays name John Gibbons manager.— Blue Jays-Official(@BlueJays) November 20, 2012
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This is an interesting move after John Farrell decided to return to the Boston Red Sox. Bringing back an old face is always an interesting choice, so we will see if it works out for the Blue Jays. As Bob Elliott notes, Gibbons has had run-ins with players in the past, but he's also close with general manager Alex Anthopoulos and "affable" with most everyone around him.
Gibbons led the team to a 305-305 record in his first tenure, even leading the team to a second-place finish in the AL East in 2006. Since leaving the club in 2008, he has served with the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres' minor league system.
Anthopoulos stated he was "looking for someone he could work with, someone his staff could work with, someone who was good for the city, good for the whole country.”
The close relationship between the two men, along with Gibbons' familiarity with the city and organization, could ease along a team that's undergoing a pretty significant transformation.
This team will be expected to win. After the blockbuster acquisitions of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Benifacio and Mark Buerhle, Toronto has plenty of talent. As the manager, Gibbons must now harness that ability and turn it into a solid on-field product.