USA Today Sports
According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the Toronto Blue Jays have an unique agreement with manager John Gibbons that prevents him from ever having to face a "lame duck" year.
Gibbons' two-year contract signed in November also included a "rolling option" clause--basically, an option for another year gets picked up, and another option gets tagged on as long as he is still employed by January 1 of a particular year. The way it's structured, the Blue Jays won't be forced to negotiate with him for an extension as he goes into the last year of his contract. Davidi writes:
The way it works is that as long as the Blue Jays don’t fire him prior to the following Jan. 1, the option becomes guaranteed with another option added to the back end. For example, if Gibbons makes it to 2014, his 2015 option vests with another option added for 2016.
This deal sort of reminds me of former Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy's "perpetual contract." I think it is a very creative way of structuring the contract. Unlike the Orioles, who signed manager Buck Showalter through 2018, the rolling options system relieves the Blue Jays from having to pay for multiple years should they decide to fire Gibbons. The maximum they will ever guarantee is just two years. Great to see another innovative approach to running the club from the Jays' front office!