BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: Jays add to surprises, hire Gibbons again

McClatchy news servicesNovember 21, 2012 

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.

SHORT HOPS

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract to return to the Kansas City Royals. The 33-year-old will make $5 million in 2013, $11 million in 2014 and $9 million in 2015. … 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. The agreement raises the value of the YES Network to $3.8 billion in three years. … 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. … 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.

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