With new year, John Gibbons’ 2016 salary guaranteed

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A unique clause in Blue Jays manager John Gibbons’ contract caused his 2016 salary to become guaranteed when the calendar changed to 2015. As ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports, when the Blue Jays announced that Gibbons would return in 2015, he simply had to continue being employed by the team when the new year arrived for his 2016 salary to become locked in.

Blue Jays officials have said that the “rolling options” ensure that Gibbons will never be a “lame duck manager”.

Gibbons, 52, has managed the Blue Jays to a 157-167 record since returning to the team to start the 2013 season.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.