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.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Montoyo said later in the day. "I'm glad they showed confidence by picking up my option. I'll do my best to contribute to our goal of winning a championship."

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