The Tigers officially announced Brad Ausmus as the 37th manager in franchise history during a press conference today. Ausmus, who agreed to a three-year contract with a club option for 2017, confirmed Gene Lamont will return as bench coach and would have been his first choice even if he wasn't already on staff. Lamont, who signed a two-year deal to stay in Detroit, has ties to Ausmus as he coached him during his playing days with the Astros. Tigers President/CEO/GM Dave Dombrowski downplayed Ausmus' lack of managerial experience saying he "was born to manage" and cited Joe Torre and Dusty Baker as examples of skippers who succeeded without previous managerial experience. Dombrowski also acknowledged he wanted to interview former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, but the Michigan alum declined. In other news on the managerial search front:
- The Cubs had been vetting Ausmus for weeks but decided they needed an experienced teacher, tweets David Kaplan of WGN Radio and CSNChicago.com.
- In a second tweet, Kaplan reports Padres bench Rick Renteria is the front runner but the team is considering interviewing Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo.
- The Cubs will indeed interview Lovullo, most likely early this week, tweets FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.
- No team, including the Cubs, has formally requested permission from the Red Sox to interview Lovullo or any coach on their Major League staff for a managerial position, a source tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (via Twitter).
- The Mariners are beginning the second round of interviews this weekend with former Mariner Joey Cora one of the finalists, according to MLB.com's Greg Johns. Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon will also be one of those second interviews, a source told Johns in a second report. A's bench coach Chip Hale will receive a second interview, as well, and the Mariners hope to have a new manager in place by the end of the week, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Besides Cora, McClendon, and Hale, five others are known to have interviewed with GM Jack Zduriencik: Ausmus, Renteria, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, and ex-Mariner catcher and current broadcaster Dave Valle.