The Tigers are reportedly close on a deal to hire A.J. Hinch as the team’s next manager.
The Detroit Tigers joined the managerial hunt when Ron Gardenhire abruptly retired near the end of the 2020 season due to health concerns. A.J. Hinch was out there as a top candidate and the only thing working against the Tigers was other teams poised to win now also needing a new skipper.
The Chicago White Sox fit that category and shocked the baseball world by hiring Tony La Russa. The email announcing the news even had Hinch’s signature on it. Anyway, the White Sox blew it and the Tigers are reportedly hiring Hinch as their next manager.
Hinch reportedly heading to Detroit
Hinch carries a ton of negative publicity with him. Regardless, he is a talented and in-touch manager who took a rebuilding Houston Astros team and made them great. Of course, there is always an asterisk with that team.
He is now set to join a Tigers team that has been rebuilding and stockpiling young talent for several years.
Hinch was a player in MLB and immediately transitioned into being a successful scout. He made a name for himself with the Astros and may have gone down as a bit of a martyr considering it appeared to be the players running the sign-stealing scheme.
This is a huge win for the Tigers and a great troll of the White Sox. The latter is poised to win now and has a young, fun core in place. Naturally, they went with a 76-year-old who openly hates on players having fun. That should go over well with that roster.
Hinch is also in a position where the team doesn’t have to win right away. Young players can be developed and this is truly a long-term, low-pressure role. The team lost 114 games in 2019 and managed a 23-35 record this past season. This will be about building a program and running a smart organization.
That appears to be the opposite of what the White Sox are doing. They wanted to inject life into the organization and decided upon someone who hasn’t managed since 2011. The Tigers seized the opportunity to hire Hinch and this could go down as a major storyline over the next decade in the American League Central.