The Detroit Tigers will be looking for a new GM this offseason
Detroit Tigers fans, rejoice. After seven long years, the team has announced they have fired general manager Al Avila. Assistant GM Sam Menzin will be the “day-today point of contact for the Major League team.”
This is music to Tigers fans ears. We’ve been waiting to hear this news for a long, long time. But before we go on any further, let’s take a walk down memory lane…if you dare.
Avila was hired as Tigers GM back in 2015 after the team fired Dave Dombrowski. His first free agent signing was Jordan Zimmerman. Other signings that offseason included Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Justin Upton. The less said about those, the better, with the exception of Upton.
Then came the trades in 2017. Avila traded J.D. Martinez to Arizona and Justin Verlander to Houston. We won’t beat a dead horse. Owner Chris Ilitch didn’t give him much money to spend the next four years as the team underwent a rebuild.
Avila’s drafts have been less than spectacular. From 2016-2019, there wasn’t a lot of success other than the likes of Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Riley Greene, and others. He just couldn’t find any talent beyond the first round.
International scouting was another huge weakness. The Tigers never made any substantial changes to the international scouting team under Avila and it shows. Cristian Santana and Roberto Campos are looking to buck that trend, but it was too little, too late.
The one area where Avila deserves some credit is the pitching depth. The Tigers have gone through 15 starting pitchers this season due to injuries, and most of them have been decent. Chris Fetter and Gabe Ribas obviously deserve some credit as well, but Avila deserves credit for bringing these players into the organization.
I don’t want to make this an Avila hit piece. He genuinely seems like a good human being. He was in the organization for 22 years. I get, in a sense, why Ilitch was so loyal toward him. He just wasn’t a good GM. He didn’t get the job done, and it was time for a change.
But for Detroit Tigers fans, you can rest easy now. The bad man can’t hurt you anymore.