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Blue Jays hire Rays bench coach Charlie Montoyo as manager
By IAN HARRISON
TORONTO (AP) Charlie Montoyo, a bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays this season, was hired as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. He succeeds John Gibbons, who was let go after the team finished 73-89.
The Blue Jays will officially introduce Montoyo during a news conference Monday at Rogers Centre. He has a three-year contract with a club option for 2022.
"I am extremely honored and humbled to join the Toronto Blue Jays organization," Montoyo said in a statement. "Managing a team that represents an entire nation is incredibly special. My family and I look forward to working toward the ultimate goal of winning a championship for this city. I also want to recognize the entire Tampa Bay Rays organization for giving me the chance to start my coaching career."
The 53-year-old Montoyo, from Puerto Rico, managed the triple-A Durham Bulls from 2007-14 and spent three seasons as Tampa Bay's third-base coach before becoming bench coach this year.
"We are thrilled to announce Charlie as the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays," general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. "Charlie is a highly regarded leader by so many individuals in the game and we were thoroughly impressed by his experiences and approach as we learned more about him during the interview process."
Montoyo becomes the 13th manager in Blue Jays history. He will be responsible for the development of top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is expected to join the Blue Jays in April.
Before joining the parent club, Montoyo spent 18 seasons managing in the Rays' minor league system. He won seven International League South Division titles and two Governors' Cup championships (2009, 2013) with Durham. He also worked with the Puerto Rican team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
A second baseman who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987, Montoyo spent 10 seasons in the minors. His only major league experience was a four-game stint with the Montreal Expos in 1993.
Montoyo is the first Blue Jays manager hired by Atkins and president Mark Shapiro. The pair joined Toronto following the 2015 season, when the team made the first of consecutive AL Championship Series appearances.
This year, the Blue Jays hoped to coax one more competitive season from the core of those ALCS teams. Things looked promising after a 16-12 start, but it didn't last. A 9-19 mark in May, and injuries to key players including infielder Josh Donaldson and right-handers Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, combined to sink Toronto's season.
Expected for months, Gibbons' departure was made official Sept. 26, hours before the final home game of the season.
Gibbons went 791-787 in 11 seasons during two stints managing Toronto. The Blue Jays ended a 22-year playoff drought by winning the AL East in 2015. They followed that with a wildcard berth in 2016, but finished with losing records in 2017 and 2018.
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Updated October 26, 2018