Blue Jays hire John Gibbons as manager

John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE

Toronto is bringing back their former skipper to man the helm in 2013.

Not a month removed from sending 2011-2012 manager John Farrell to the Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays have hired John Gibbons to fill their managerial vacancy, per the Toronto Sun. Gibbons takes over as Blue Jays manager for the second time, having held the post from late 2004 to the middle of the 2008 season.

In his first stint with Toronto, Gibbons led the Blue Jays to an exactly .500 record over his four-year tenure, garnering 305 wins and 305 losses. The 87-win, 75-loss season under Gibbons in 2006 netted the Blue Jays their best finish since their World Series victory in 1993.

While the candidates of the other four managerial searches this fall were widely reported on, Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays kept a tight lid on their discussions. Several names had been floated as possible candidates -- from retired Hall-of-Fame manager Bobby Cox to former Seattle Mariners skipper Mike Hargrove -- but in the end the job was Gibbons'.

Gibbons gets the opportunity to take over a Toronto club that has been completely overhauled in the past two weeks, making them serious contenders in the AL East. The Blue Jays have signed/ acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Maicer Izturis and Melky Cabrera this month alone. Bolstered by strong offseason acquisitions, on paper the 2013 Blue Jays bear a strong resemblance to Gibbons' strong 2006 club.

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