When the Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila announced the team was hiring A.J. Hinch to be their next manager, the hope what that he would turn around a team that was in the middle of a rebuild.
During his first season with the team, Hinch worked his magic, and though the Tigers did not contend, they certainly exceeded expectations as they finished in third place in the American League Central with a 77-85 record.
Heading into the 2022 season, the Tigers were mentioned by many to be a team that could rise up and contend for a wild card playoff spot but that has not been the case…at all.
In fact, the Tigers are off to a 26-42 record and they are the lowest scoring team in all of Major League Baseball. Actually, they are the lowest scoring team in Major League Baseball since 1968!
During a recent interview, Avila said he is “as angry as anybody” that the Tigers are underachieving in 2022 but he believes they will eventually turn things around.
From The Athletic:
“I’m as angry as anybody, more angry than anybody,” general manager Al Avila said. “We’re all angry. And we’re all accountable — including the players. Right now, we’re re-evaluating and scrutinizing everything in the front office, player development, scouting, our staff and our players. When this happens, it’s not person or one department or one player. This is team-wide.”
Avila concluded by saying, “We’re all obviously working hard to turn this around. And we will.” Rival executives, however, question whether Avila is creative and savvy enough to build a consistent winner. Some in Detroit, meanwhile, wonder if Hinch might bolt, pointing to an April 2021 report that said his contract included an opt-out clause.
Al Avila denies previous report regarding A.J. Hinch's contract
With the Tigers struggling, there has been speculation that A.J. Hinch could decide to opt-out of his contract following the 2022 season.
That speculation is possible because of a report from Lynn Henning that the following back in April of 2021:
“Should also be repeated that the reason AJ Hinch's contract terms were never made public is because he has an opt-out in case Detroit doesn't live up to expectations, or promises, and a team like the Yankees or Dodgers or some such baseball colossus should eventually pursue him.”
Should also be repeated that the reason AJ Hinch's contract terms were never made public is because he has an opt-out in case Detroit doesn't live up to expectations, or promises, and a team like the Yankees or Dodgers or some such baseball colossus should eventually pursue him.
— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) April 1, 2021
According to Al Avila, Hinch's contract does NOT include an opt-out clause, which means he will be with the Tigers through the 2025 season, if they want to keep him.
From The Athletic:
Avila said Hinch’s contract includes no such clause. Hinch, in his second year with the club, has never said anything to indicate he plans to abandon his long-term commitment to the organization. His contract, according to sources, runs for five years, from 2021 to 2025. Avila’s deal expires sooner, but its exact length is not known.
Well, either Lynn Henning was fed some bad information from a bad source or Al Avila is lying.