Arguably the most important decision that Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila faced this offseason was hiring a new manager.
Well, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Avila has made a decision and the next manager of the Tigers will be former Minnesota Twins skipper, Ron Gardenhire.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 19, 2017
Gardenhire, who is 59-years-old, served as the bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. During his 13 seasons with the Twins, he led the team to a division title on six separate occasions and was named the American League Manager of the Year in 2010 after leading Minnesota to a 94-68 record. Overall, Gardenhire posted a 1068-1039 (.507) record with the Twins.
Katie Strang of The Athletic had multiple sources tell her the reasoning for the Gardenhire hire.
Multiple sources told The Athletic’s Katie Strang that Tigers general manager Al Avila entered the process leaning heavily toward a candidate with previous MLB managerial experience. Gardenhire was seen as a seasoned, battle-tested option in this regard.
Near the conclusion of the Tigers 2017 season, news broke that Brad Ausmus would not be returning as manager in 2018. In four seasons with the Tigers, Ausmus led his team to an overall record of 314-332 but it was the Tigers 64-98 record in 2017 that was the straw that finally broke the camels back.
The former Twins skipper is very familiar with the American League Central but he will certainly have his work cut out for him as the Tigers are in the process of a rebuild.
According to Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of many candidates considered by the Tigers.
Other candidates who recently interviewed with the Tigers include Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora, Colorado Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond, Miami Marlins third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, Chicago White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing and San Francisco Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens. The Tigers also planned to interview Chicago Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez.
Internally, the Tigers interviewed third base coach Dave Clark and first base coach Omar Vizquel. As of Tuesday, the team had not yet interviewed Lloyd McClendon, though he was believed to have a contingent of support among players within the Tigers clubhouse.