John Gibbons was hired as manager of the Blue Jays for the second time Tuesday, returning to a team that just invigorated its roster after a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins.
"I never would have guessed this could happen," he said at a news conference.
Gibbons managed Toronto from 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. Gibbons, however, takes over a very different team from the one Farrell managed.
The surprise announcement came a day after the Blue Jays completed a mega deal in which they acquired All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from Miami. Toronto agreed to the trade last week and commissioner Bud Selig approved it Monday. The Blue Jays, extraordinarily busy in this offseason, also finalized a $16 million, two-year deal with free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera.
"Who wouldn't want to be here?" Gibbons said. "The front office has put together a legitimate contending type team."
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos had said he wanted someone who was familiar with the organization and city. Anthopoulos was an assistant GM when Gibbons managed Toronto. Gibbons joins Cito Gaston as managers serving two stints with the Blue Jays.