Toronto Blue Jays pick up option year on manager Charlie Montoyo's contract

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The Toronto Blue Jays are picking up the option year on manager Charlie Montoyo's contract.

He became the 13th manager in franchise history in October 2018, signing a three-year deal with an option for 2022. Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins confirmed the option pickup on a video call with reporters on Tuesday.

"He is very steady in game, his instincts are incredible, his collaboration with all of his staff has just continued to be a strength," Atkins said. The character, the ability to create a very positive, constructive environment is very encouraging. I couldn't be happier working alongside him."

Montoyo guided the Blue Jays to a 67-95 record in 2019 as they completed a rebuild. Toronto was 32-28 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

The Blue Jays reached the expanded playoffs as the final wild-card entry last year and were swept by Tampa Bay in two games.

"He treats everyone the same and I think our players really appreciate that," Atkins said. "Obviously he's aware of individual needs and interests, but he's just a very fair, consistent human being that sets a great tone for our environment."

Montoyo, 55, spent three seasons as Tampa Bay's third-base coach before becoming bench coach in 2018. He managed the triple-A Durham Bulls from 2007-14.

Atkins also said that right-hander Nate Pearson aggravated a groin issue during a bullpen session Tuesday morning.

"We do feel it is very mild in nature," Atkins said. "But we want to re-assess that and just take it a day at a time."

Pearson will be re-assessed Wednesday. It's unclear whether he'll be ready for the start of the regular season on April 1 in New York against the Yankees.

The Blue Jays will start the season playing home games in Dunedin, Fla., due to pandemic-related border restrictions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press