A familiar face is returning to the Blue Jays coaching staff next season with the club announcing on Monday that DeMarlo Hale has been hired as the associate manager under manager John Schneider.
Hale, 62, previously spent six years as the Blue Jays bench coach under former manager John Gibbons from 2013-18 and helped lead the team to back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015 and 2016. Most recently, Hale had been the bench coach for the Cleveland Guardians for the past three seasons under Terry Francona.
“When the opportunity came up to return to Toronto in this role, it felt like a good fit. I’m excited to come back to this team and fanbase,” Hale said in a team-issued press release. “My familiarity with the field staff and other departments will help make a smooth transition and continue to help impact this organization’s success.”
“DeMarlo brings passion, toughness, experience, and a history of winning to our coaching staff,” Schneider said in the same press release. “Adding his voice and intensity to our environment is going to be beneficial for an already close-knit group of staff and players. We are looking forward to DeMarlo’s immediate impact on this team heading into the 2024 season.”
This is the latest change the Blue Jays have made to next season’s coaching staff. The club previously announced the hiring of Carlos Febles as their third base coach after the retirement of Luis Rivera, as well as the reassignment of hitting strategist Dave Hudgens to a hybrid player development role based in Dunedin, Fla. Meanwhile, bench coach Don Mattingly will undertake an expanded position as the team’s offensive coordinator, where he’ll take on a greater role in the team’s hitting strategy.
Mattingly will retain the title of bench coach, though presumably Hale’s role as the associate manager will see him handle tasks to assist Schneider on a day-to-day basis while Mattingly focuses more on the offensive side of things. Hale comes with nine years of managerial experience and five years of playing experience in the minor leagues. An associate manager is not a very common job title in dugouts, and the Blue Jays did not detail the exact responsibilities but it would seem to be a role that functions as a support for Schneider before, during and after games.
Meanwhile, Mattingly’s name has been listed as a candidate for the vacant Milwaukee Brewers manager job, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said the club would not stand in Mattingly’s way should another opportunity to manage arise for him.
MLB coaching staff and front office movement tracker: The latest news and hires
(Top photo of Hale: Kevin M. Cox / Associated Press)