Baylor among Gaston's recommendations

Baylor among Gaston's recommendations

MINNEAPOLIS -- Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston has mostly stayed out of Toronto's ongoing search for his successor. There have been a few cases, however, where Gaston has offered a name or two to general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

"I've given a few names," said Gaston, who is retiring from managing at the end of the season. "But a lot of the names I give are because people come to me. They come to me and I just pass it along sometimes. That's what a lot of it has been."

One person that Gaston has suggested is Rockies hitting coach Don Baylor. On Thursday, a report on indicated that Colorado has granted permission for the Blue Jays to conduct an interview with Baylor.

Gaston was pleased to hear that Baylor was being considered.

"I think Don deserves an interview and another chance," Gaston said. "Don was a good player. He's a hitting coach also, and he's managed before. You guys who have seen him play and know him a little bit, you know what kind of player he was and what kind of guy he is.

"He does bring a presence when he walks in the room. I think it'd be good for him [to interview], whether he gets it or not. I'm happy to hear they are going to consider him and take a look at him. That's good."

Baylor managed the Rockies from 1993-98 and also served as the Cubs' skipper from 2000-02. Gaston would not say whether he mentioned Baylor's name to the Blue Jays on his own, or if the Rockies' hitting coach came to him.

Gaston said one name he floated to the Jays' brass is Juan Samuel, who worked as an interim manager for the Orioles earlier this year prior to Baltimore's hiring of Buck Showalter. Beyond Samuel, Gaston would not go into detail about the names he has discussed with Anthopoulos.

"I don't want to mention names," Gaston said. "Some of the guys, they're qualified for it."

Two internal candidates for the Blue Jays are third-base coach Brian Butterfield and bench coach Nick Leyva. Other names that have been linked to Toronto's search have been Yankees third-base coach Rob Thomson and former big league managers Bob Melvin and Eric Wedge.

"Really, I don't know what sort of manager you need here," Gaston said. "I don't know what kind of team they're going to have here next year, because there's a lot of unanswered questions as far as free agency and adding some people.

"So I don't know. Are you looking to win next year, or are you looking to win two years or three years from now? I think you'd have to get somebody that's experienced."