The Detroit Tigers have parted ways with longtime general manager Al Avila. After seven seasons of a rebuild under Avila and little progress, owner Chris Ilitch finally decided it was time for a change. The move came earlier this afternoon in a press release. In 2002, Avila became the Tigers’ assistant general manager and vice president. After serving in that role for 13 years, Avila became the general manager and executive vice president. Replacing Dave Dombrowski, he became the first Cuban-born MLB general manager in history. Next year, in 2016, the Tigers narrowly missed the playoffs, but with an aging core and bloated payroll, Avila pulled the trigger on a rebuild.
The Detroit Tigers today announced they have parted ways with Executive Vice President and General Manager Al Avila, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/i8f6guLNXa
— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) August 10, 2022
Avila traded away all-stars including Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez, and Nick Castellanos, beginning a full restart. Up to this point, the eight prospects acquired in return have accumulated a combined -0.5 bWAR at the major league level. Meanwhile, Verlander has won a World Series and a Cy Young in Houston. Since departing from Detroit, Martinez has hit 0.295 with 152 HRs with Arizona and Boston. Castellanos made his first all-star team and finished 12th in NL MVP voting last season in Cincinnati.
This season, the Tigers were projected to see notable improvement and were a sleeper pick by some analysts to contend for the playoffs. Alternatively, they sit 43-68, good for last in the AL Central. Throughout Avila’s tenure, the Tigers have compiled a record of 478-660 (42%). With many chances to acquire blue-chip talent, Avila always seemed to miss out.
Chris Ilitch will oversee the search process for the team’s next baseball operations leader. However, it remains to be seen if the Tigers will find a new general manager before the end of this season. For now, assistant general manager Sam Menzin will take over baseball operations.
The Tigers now try to finish the 2022 season on a positive note. They will call up young prospects to see what they have before another attempt at contention next season. Kerry Carpenter, who hit 0.313 with 30 HRs between Double-A and Triple-A this season, will make his major league debut as the DH against the Guardians tonight. After the firing of Al Avila, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.