Astros Rumors: John Gibbons to Interview for Manager Job After AJ Hinch's Firing

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 19:  Manager John Gibbons #5 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 19, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 10-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Houston Astros will reportedly interview former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on Thursday as they look to fill their managerial vacancy, according to KRIV's Mark Berman.

Houston is in search of a new manager after owner Jim Crane fired AJ Hinch earlier this week in the wake of Hinch's one-year suspension for his role in a 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

The Blue Jays parted ways with the 57-year-old Gibbons at the conclusion of the 2018 season after they went just 73-89, their worst record in nine full seasons under Gibbons.

Overall, Gibbons spent 11 seasons as Blue Jays manager. That included the 2004 season, when he took over with 50 games remaining, and the 2008 season, when he was fired 74 games in.

Gibbons' time in Toronto was broken up into two stints as well. His first run lasted from 2004-08, and he returned as manager in 2013 and remained in that role through the 2018 campaign. His regular-season record as manager of the Jays was slightly above .500 at 793-789, which included five winning seasons.

His greatest success came in back-to-back seasons in 2015 and 2016. Toronto went 93-69 in 2015 and won its first American League East title since 1993. The Blue Jays went on to reach the American League Championship Series, where they fell to Kansas City Royals.

The Blue Jays returned to the ALCS the following season after going 89-73 and earning a wild-card berth, but they were eliminated just short of the World Series by the Cleveland Indians.

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Those were Gibbons' only playoff appearances as Blue Jays manager, as they dropped to 76-86 and 73-89 over the next two seasons.

The manager that lands in Houston will fall into a dream situation that doesn't become available often. While the Astros organization is reeling from the sign-stealing scandal, the roster is loaded.

Houston has won 100 or more games in each of the past three seasons and reached at least the ALCS in each of those campaigns as well. The Astros won their first World Series in 2017, fell to the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 ALCS and lost to the Washington Nationals in the 2019 World Series.

Losing ace starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees in free agency will hurt, but Houston still has Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke to anchor the rotation, plus a stacked lineup that includes Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel and Michael Brantley.

The Astros will be the odds-on favorites to win the AL West again in 2020, and they should continue to be in the pennant mix along with the Yankees and Minnesota Twins.

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