An old friend is returning to the Blue Jays dugout in 2024. Toronto announced the hiring of veteran coach DeMarlo Hale as associate manager today, becoming the second new coach (after new third-base coach Carlos Febles) to join manager John Schneider’s staff next year.
OFFICIAL: We're excited to announce the hiring of DeMarlo Hale as our Associate Manager under Manager John Schneider.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 13, 2023
Welcome Back, DeMarlo! pic.twitter.com/rw7CjRX9MN
Hale was linked to the Blue Jays’ managerial opening after Cito Gaston’s retirement, but the club went for John Farrell instead. A year after that disastrous decision, Hale joined the Blue Jays as the bench coach to John Gibbons and remained in that role side-by-side Gibby through the 2018 season. He then joined his old boss Alex Anthopoulos with the Atlanta organization before moving onto being Terry Francona’s right-hand man in 2021. When Francona had to step away from the club with health issues, Hale filled in as acting manager
It is unclear where Hale, as “associate manager”, ranks compared to bench coach and offensive coordinator Don Mattingly or who will become acting manager if Schneider is ejected or otherwise unavailable. Mattingly may not return to the Blue Jays next season if he gets the managerial job for the Milwaukee Brewers, so this Hale hiring may mitigate that possible loss.
Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that, while offensive coordinator Mattingly will cover the offense portfolio, Hale will be responsible for improving “run-prevention co-ordination through defence.” It is not known who will run special teams for the Blue Jays.