Pending a change, it appears that the Detroit Tigers wasted no time after the season ended to get their next manager, AJ Hinch.
Just days after the World Series ended, the Detroit Tigers moved quickly to hire the 39th manager in franchise history, AJ Hinch. The former Houston Astros manager, who played for the Tigers very briefly in 2003, becomes the 7th active skipper who has managed a World Series winner.
Multiple national sources reported the news tonight, including Jason Beck and Jon Morosi of MLB.com. This comes on the heels of the Chicago White Sox hiring Tony La Russa, and from there information started spreading across social media platforms: the Tigers were moving in on Hinch.
UPDATE: And now this afternoon, Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic Detroit confirmed the hire.
The Tigers have interviewed a number of candidates already, including former Tigers Don Kelly, Marcus Thames, and Phil Nevin. Other names Detroit considered included Pedro Grifol of the Kansas City Royals and Mike Redmond.
During an interview with the MLB Network about 8 months ago, Hinch discussed the 2017 Houston Astros investigation and what his future plans were going to be.
Regarding the scandal, Hinch said this to Tom Verducci during the interview.
“I regret so much about that and it’s so complicated and so deep and there are parts that are hard to talk about but taking responsibility as the manager … it happened on my watch. I’m not proud of that. I’ll never be proud of it. I didn’t like it. But I have to own it because I was in a leadership position. And the commissioner’s office made it very, very clear that the GM and the manager were in position to make sure nothing like this happened—and we fell short.”
As I discussed in my article last night, AJ Hinch has an extensive background beyond being a manager. He served in player development with the Arizona Diamondbacks, spent four years as the assistant general manager of the San Diego Padres. His managerial record is 570-452.
There will be questions about who Hinch will add to his coaching staff, but those will be addressed in the future. For now it’s time to celebrate the Detroit Tigers landing their top choice of manager. Some believe a manager doesn’t matter, but landing A.J. Hinch is a clear home run for the Tigers, and if nothing else, it shows they are serious about building a winner.