Blue Jays President Paul Beeston couldn’t believe it when he learned the Blue Jays had the chance to land three star players from the Miami Marlins last week. He was equally surprised when his general manager told him he wanted to hire John Gibbons to manage the Blue Jays again.
“They were back-to-back shockers,” Beeston said with a laugh.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos unexpectedly hired Gibbons as his new manager on Tuesday, a day after a megadeal with the Miami Marlins reinvigorated the roster and raised expectations the Blue Jays will make the playoffs for the first time since winning their second consecutive World Series in 1993. Only Kansas City and Pittsburgh have longer playoff droughts.
Gibbons managed Toronto in 2004-08 and had a 305-305 record, making him the third-winningest manager in franchise history. He succeeds John Farrell, who spurned Toronto for his dream managing job in Boston.
The surprise announcement came a day after the Blue Jays completed the trade to acquire All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from Miami. The Blue Jays also finalized a $16 million, two-year contract with free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera.
GUTHRIE DEAL FINALIZED
Two-and-a-half months in Kansas City changed the course of Jeremy Guthrie’s career. Now, he’s going to try to keep it going for three more years.
The 33-year-old right-hander agreed to a $25 million, three-year deal to return to the Royals on Tuesday. Guthrie will make $5 million in 2013, $11 million in 2014 and $9 million in 2015.
Guthrie flourished at pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium. Guthrie was 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his final 11 appearances with the Royals.
TV DEAL TO BOOST YANKS
News Corp. is acquiring a 49 percent stake in the YES Network, a deal that gives the New York Yankees’ owners hundreds of millions of dollars and values the channel at $3 billion.
Yankee Global Enterprises, Goldman Sachs and other investors will reduce their ownership as part of the transaction, and the team will receive $500 million. The agreement raises the value of the YES Network to $3.8 billion in three years, when News Corp. must decide whether to take control.
UNION TO MONITOR PURGE
The players association will monitor the Miami Marlins following their payroll purge, saying it is too early to determine whether the salary cuts will cause any issues under baseball’s labor contract.
After complaints by the union that the Marlins weren’t using revenue-sharing money to improve, the players association, Major League Baseball and the Marlins reached a three-year agreement in January 2010 that the team would increase payroll annually as it prepared to move into its new ballpark in 2012.
After opening last season with a $112 million payroll, the Marlins cut it to $90 million by the end of the season. With the trade of All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and four others to Toronto, Miami’s payroll next season projects to be around $36 million.
Hiroki Kuroda is staying with the New York Yankees, agreeing to a $15 million, one-year contract. Right-hander Dave Herndon refused an outright assignment and elected free agency. … The Detroit Tigers have released outfielder Ryan Raburn. … Free agent reliever Joel Peralta has finalized a $6 million, two-year contract to remain with the Tampa Bay Rays. Peralta gets $3 million in each of the next two seasons. … The Cleveland Indians outrighted Matt LaPorta to Triple-A Columbus. … The Chicago Cubs designated first baseman Bryan LaHair for assignment as he and the club pursue an opportunity for him in Japan.