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Eric Wedge Favored to Manage the Blue Jays in 2019

Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge
Eric Wedge won AL Manager of the Year honors with the Indians in 2007. Photo by Alan Turkus III (flickr) CC License.
  • Bovada has released new odds on who will replace John Gibbons as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Will the Jays give the reins to former AL Manager of the Year Eric Wedge?
  • Will Toronto go in a different direction and tab a first time manager like Sean Casey or Victor Martinez instead?

The Blue Jays’ 2019 souvenir program is going to have a lot of new faces, beginning with the team’s manager. Toronto has reportedly agreed to part ways with skipper John Gibbons following the season, bringing an end to his second stint with the club and ushering in what could be a long and arduous rebuild.

The news is hardly surprising considering the Jays are presently 33.5 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East and are in the midst of their second straight sub-500 season. The fault doesn’t lie entirely with Gibbons, as Toronto has had to deal with injuries to franchise cornerstones Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, and Marcus Stroman, but his head will roll nonetheless.

Bovada has been keeping track of the Blue Jays’ plight and has come up with new odds on who will manage the team in 2019. Their list features several intriguing young candidates like Sean Casey and Victor Martinez, as well as a pair of former Manager of the Year winners in Eric Wedge and Joe Girardi. We’ve included their odds below along with expert analysis into several of the most noteworthy names.

Who Will Be the Manager of the Blue Jays for Game 1 of the 2019 Season?

Candidate Bovada Odds
Eric Wedge EVEN
DeMario Hale +750
John Schneider +750
Sean Casey +750
John McDonald +750
Victor Martinez +950
Craig Breslow +1100
Mike Matheny +1400
Joe Girardi +1400
John Farrell +1400
Stubby Clapp +1600

Eric Wedge

Wedge came close to earning the Yankees’ managerial job in 2017 and should be a top contender for the Jays’ posting this offseason. The gregarious 50-year-old won Minor League Manager of the Year honours in 2002 and earned the AL Manager of the Year award in 2007 when he led the Indians to a 96-win season and a short-lived playoff run.

Wedge has a strong relationship with Toronto president and CEO Mark Shapiro from their early days together in Cleveland.

He’s been a popular fixture in the clubhouse everywhere he’s gone and has a strong relationship with Toronto president and CEO Mark Shapiro from their early days together in Cleveland. Wedge has been on the Jays’ payroll as a player development advisor since February 2016 and would be a safe choice for a rebuilding club.

DeMario Hale

Speaking of playing it safe, the Jays could choose to stick with the status quo and promote DeMario Hale from within. The 57-year-old baseball lifer has been Toronto’s bench coach since November 2012 and compiled a 615-633 record as a manager in the Minors.

There’s no doubting Hale’s baseball acumen or deep knowledge of the game, but it feels as though the Jays are ready to move away from their current regime and go in a bold new direction.

Sean Casey

The Jays have been keeping close tabs on Alex Cora, Gabe Kapler, and Aaron Boone and are rumored to be interested in hiring a recently retired player with a solid understanding of analytics and an ability to relate to younger players and prospects. If that sounds like we’re describing Sean Casey, then you’re absolutely right. The three-time All-Star was one of the most outgoing players in the game during his ten-year career and earned the nickname “The Mayor” for his proclivity for chatting up anyone within ear shot.

Casey has been retired since the end of the 2008 season but has remained close to the game as a broadcaster and analyst on MLB Network. He understands the game and, perhaps more importantly, he understands people. His easy-going nature and ability to make connections would be welcome attributes on a young team that’s bound to take its fair share of lumps.

Victor Martinez

Victor Martinez is another attractive option should the Jays decide to hire a younger – and presumably fresher – candidate. The 39-year-old masher is still a productive every-day player with the Tigers, but he’s hinted he plans to retire at the end of the 2018 season and would make an excellent manager thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge of the game.

Martinez is still a productive every-day player with the Tigers, but he’s hinted he plans to retire at the end of the 2018 season.

Martinez’s inclusion on Bovada’s list is interesting, but it feels like it’s straight out of left field. The five-time All-Star has never openly discussed his desire to manage and has no obvious ties to the Blue Jays organization. Treat his inclusion with suspicion until he officially throws his hat in the ring.

Joe Girardi

Girardi is likely to find his name on plenty of managerial short lists during the offseason thanks to his success with the Marlins and Yankees, but he doesn’t appear to check many of the boxes on the Jays’ wish list. His age, old school approach, and past communication issues should all be red flags for Toronto and bettors alike.

Toronto is About to Get a New Mayor

We’re putting our money on Casey. The affable 44-year-old has a sparkling baseball resume and the perfect personality for dealing with the media and young players. He’s an ideal pick for a franchise looking to move in a new direction.

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