Detroit Tigers general manager, Al Avila, spoke to reporters on Friday, October 2, 2020, after the team̵7;s season to share season-wide expectations.
Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Tigers are “progressing” in finalizing a deal to hire AJ Hinch as their new manager, two people with firsthand knowledge of the situation told Free Press on Thursday night.
Sources said on conditions of anonymity because of the nature of the discussions.
One of the sources said there was a “real possibility” that a deal could be reached as soon as Friday, minus failure in negotiations.
On Thursday, 46-year-old Hinch interviewed with general manager Al Avila, just two days after completing the year-long MLB suspension for his role in plotting to steal the Houston Astros contract 2017. The pause ends with the end of the World Series on Tuesday.
For subscribers: Why was the Detroit Tigers pioneering to hire AJ Hinch as manager
Hinch has a career record of 570-452 across sections of seven seasons with Astros and the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2009-19. He has the highest career win rate (0.594) in Astros history, with his record 481-329.
Hinch led Astros to the post-season in 2015, his first year as a manager. This is the first time this organization has entered the knockout stages since 2005. That year, Houston lost in ALDS to Kansas City Royals.
In 2017, amid the sign theft scandal, Hinch led the Astros team to the World Series championship against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite losing to Boston Red Sox in ALCS 2018, Astros returned to World Series 2019 and lost to Washington Nationals.
He was suspended and fired from Astros on January 13, 2020 – along with general manager Jeff Luhnow. Bench coach Alex Cora, most recently the manager of Boston Red Sox, was also suspended for a year in April for his role in the plot.
Tigers general manager Al Avila considered Cora for a managerial position in the early stages of searching, but it’s not clear if Cora will be interviewing.
“I can’t say I got rid of anyone,” Avila said on October 2. “Obviously, the fraud scandal is not a good thing. They are serving a probation. And once. The suspension is over, they will be free to pursue their careers. We haven’t removed anyone from our list yet at this point … I have them on my list. “
Tigers is said to have interviewed at least 10 candidates while waiting for Hinch to finish his probation.
The list includes: Tigers interim coach Lloyd McClendon, New York Yankees beat coach Marcus Thames, Yankees Phil Nevin third team coach, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, coach Chicago Cubs third junior coach, Will Venable, Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach, Don Kelly, Los Angeles Dodgers third coach George Lombard junior coach, bench coach Kansas City Royals, Pedro Grifol, Oakland Athletics Quality Control Coach Mark Kotsay and Atlanta Braves catcher coach Sal Fasano.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.