TODAY: Ausmus was given a three-year deal that includes a club option for a fourth season, tweets Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Ausmus, 44, is currently a special assistant with the Padres. He was previously connected with the Cubs, and also interviewed with the Mariners and Nationals. Over the course of his impressive 18-year playing career, Ausmus caught nearly 16,000 innings, appearing in an All-Star game and winning three Gold Gloves.
Ausmus becomes the third manager to be hired so far this offseason who lacks experience helming a club at the major league level, joining Bryan Price of the Reds and Matt Williams of the Nationals. We've recently seen Mike Matheny guide the Cardinals to back-to-back playoff appearances in his first two seasons as a manager, and his success may have boosted MLB executives' confidence in such candidates.
The move comes as a surprise from Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who noted prior to Ausmus' hiring that every skipper he's ever chosen has had managerial experience in pro ball. Dombrowski had also indicated that he had no plans to "change the culture" of the Tigers after the club's recent success, suggesting that team would opt for an internal candidate such as Lloyd McClendon, the former Pirates manager and current hitting coach in Detroit. Other names linked with the Tigers' top dugout job included Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo.