The Tigers and Brad Ausmus will part ways after the end of the current season, as Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports on Twitter that the club won’t extend his contract. Ausmus, 48, has been at the helm of the Detroit dugout for the last four seasons.
Detroit had exercised a club option to retain Ausmus for the current campaign. But it did not further address his contract situation last winter, leaving the skipper facing an uncertain future. Now, his tenure will end as the ballclub itself faces its own uncertainty as it carries out a rebuilding effort.
GM Al Avila says he’s looking for a “new approach and a fresh start” in that leadership role (via ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, on Twitter). It’s not yet known, though, just what candidates the club will consider. The Tigers will have a head start on the rest of the managerial market, though, as they are the first organization to announce a chance.
Ausmus, a long-time big league catcher, was hired when the organization was pushing hard to contend. The Tigers won ninety games in his first year at the helm, but were swept out of the postseason and haven’t made it back since. Then-GM Dave Dombrowski was cut loose in the midst of a disappointing 2015 season, giving way to Avila. Detroit managed 86 wins last year, but the outlook wasn’t all that optimistic heading into the current campaign and the club has staggered to a 62-91 record to this point.
Notable change has come at many levels of the Tigers organization of late. That includes player turnover, of course, with J.D. Martinez and longtime star Justin Verlander departing via trade over the summer. Long-time owner Mike Ilitch passed away in February, leaving the team to his son, Chris. Of course, there’s also continuity in that transition; the younger Ilitch says his family plans to continue to own the ballclub for a long time to come (via MLB.com’s Jason Beck, on Twitter).