The Tigers interviewed Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol for their managerial opening, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The 50-year-old made a strong impression on Detroit higher-ups and has put himself in “the top tier of candidates,” Morosi adds.
Grifol has come up as a possibility in various managerial searches in recent seasons, including last year, when he was a finalist for the Giants’ job that eventually went to Gabe Kapler. He was also reportedly in consideration to replace Ned Yost as the Royals’ manager. The Royals eventually turned to Mike Matheny but promoted Grifol from catching/quality control coach to bench coach.
Tigers GM Al Avila has known Grifol since the late 1980’s and considered him during Detroit’s previous managerial search that eventually resulted in the hiring of Ron Gardenhire, Morosi notes. Avila is on the record as preferring a candidate with coaching or managerial experience, and Grifol fits that bill. The longtime coach has four seasons of minor-league managerial experience under his belt and has been on the Royals’ big league staff since 2013.
Grifol joins Dodgers first base coach George Lombard and Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames as candidates known to have interviewed for the Detroit vacancy.