According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, Marty Brown--who managed the Toronto Blue Jays' triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons in 2013--will be leaving the organization in pursue of other opportunities. The report was later corroborated by Shawn Stepner and Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Harrington (who was on vacation).
Brown, 50, had been the Blue Jays' triple-A manager since 2011, managing two years with the Las Vegas 51s. Before that, he spent five years managing in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp (2006-2009) and the Tohoku Golden Eagles (2010). Prior to his experience in Japan, he managed in Buffalo for three seaons in 2003-2005 when they were still the Indians' affiliate. He brought Buffalo its last International League championship in 2004.
Davidi reports that Brown was considered for, but did not get, the Blue Jays' first-base coach job. Tim Leiper was named to that job earlier this month. Just like players, managers and coaching staff in the minor leagues--especially in the upper levels--are always looking to move up to the big leagues. When they feel they are blocked in an organization, they tend to leave. John Gibbons himself left the Mets organization after stagnating for seven years in the minor leagues, having been repeatedly passed over for Mets major league coaching jobs.
Brown was reported to have had clashes with Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra over some boneheaded plays. It's impossible to know how he deals with players and coaches in the clubhouse, but he was quite good dealing with the media. He gave no indication that he was about to leave in his recent interview with Jeff Blair about Masahiro Tanaka, who he managed when he was with the Golden Eagles.
Like other minor league managers and coaches in the Blue Jays organization, Brown was on a year-to-year contract. In his last home game, he did say that he wanted to return to Buffalo for 2014 (scroll to 2:04):
Also, former Bisons slugger Luis Jimenez signed a contract with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization. Many "quad-A" type players have signed with Korea this offseason after the KBO opened up an extra roster spot for foreign players.
Marty Brown's departure was confirmed by the Buffalo Bisons late Friday evening via Twitter and a press release.
The #Bisons organization wishes Marty Brown the best of luck as he pursues new opportunities in baseball. A class guy and great manager.— Mike Buczkowski (@BuffaloBisonsGM) December 21, 2013
Shi Davidi's piece was later updated with quotes from Marty Brown. The essence: the hiring of Tim Leiper was the "tipping point" for Brown, who realized he was not going to ascend any higher in the organization.
"Toronto has a lot of friends and people they feel obligated to, and I’m not one of them. I thought it would be good that I move away and find out if I can do something else to help out me and my family."
He hinted that he may be moving away from managing to possibly a scouting role in East Asia. Asking about Gose and Sierra, Brown said:
"Anthony Gose has been a project but I consider him a very good friend. He can be very difficult, but what a talent. Moises Sierra has been a young up and coming project."
Unfortunately, it seems that there was a disconnect between Brown and the Blue Jays organization, something happened to make him not feel like he was "part of it." It's easy to take some of these phrases, and the departure of a number of scouts, to construct a narrative about bad goings-on in the Blue Jays player development department. Maybe there is some level of truth to it--the way Chad Mottola was handled was clearly a mistake--but I wouldn't read too much into this particular move: as I wrote above, minor league coaches and managers moving on is not atypical.