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Al Avila

(Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press)

Al Avila Has Been Fired By The Detroit Tigers

Al Avila
(Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press)

Al Avila Has Been Fired By The Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have fired General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations Al Avila. Avila was originally hired as the assistant GM in 2002 and was promoted to his current position in 2015. This change comes after a disappointing 43-68 start to the 2022 season.

Detroit Tigers owner Christopher Ilitch provided the Detroit Free Press with the following statement.

“Once I decided to make a change, I sat down with Al and thanked him for his nearly 22 years of service to our organization,” owner Christopher Ilitch said in a statement. “Al’s loyalty and dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department.

“I will oversee the search process for our next baseball operations leader, in collaboration with several members of our baseball and business operations executive teams.”

Full quote via Detroit Free Press

It is no secret why Avila was served his walking papers. His tenure in Detroit yielded few positives. Over the last several years, the Tigers were the worst team in baseball multiple times. On one hand, this is a part of rebuilding. On the other hand, the club made little to no progress in ending their rebuild anytime soon. This is largely due to Avila. He botched trades and made back signings. Ultimately, Avila destroyed the Tigers. Frankly, Avila’s seven years in control were too long. It was clear several years ago that he was not the man for the job, but Ilitch saw the process through.

Avila’s tenure was not a complete failure. He pondered trading starting pitcher Tarik Skubal at the 2022 trade deadline. Thankfully, he did not, as that would have set the Tigers back a year or so. With that being said, sitting on your hands should not be the best thing a GM does over seven years. Despite being willing to move a large majority of the roster at the deadline, Avila only moved outfielder Robbie Grossman and reliever Michael Fulmer. As both players were rentals, the Tigers received prospects that did not crack the organization’s top-30 prospects. The Tigers certainly had several more veterans that could have been moved for prospects at the deadline.

Whether it be the Avila or the scouting department, the Tigers did draft well under Avila. Casey Mize, Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and Matt Manning were some of his first-round selections. The jury is still out on these guys, but he could have done far worse. Plus, he selected Skubal in the ninth round. That is certainly his best selection.

The Tigers have yet to name Avila’s replacement. It is unclear if they will be looking for an internal or external replacement. Regardless of who gets the job, they will have their work cut out as they look to take the next step with this young Tigers core.


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