Detroit Tigers: 5 dream candidates to be the team’s next GM
Will Rhymes, director of player development—Los Angeles Dodgers
Why not stick with the most well-run organization in baseball? The Tigers could poach pretty much anyone in their front office and the hire would be deemed a success.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because it is. Rhymes, 39, played for the Tigers from 2010-11. He was drafted by Detroit in the 27th round in 2005. He was the team’s starting second baseman in 2011. In two years with the Tigers, he slashed .283/.341/.370 with a .711 OPS.
He played 47 games for Tampa (again?) in 2012, putting up a .584 OPS. He played in the minors for the Washington Nationals in 2013 before calling it a career in 2014. Rhymes previously served as an assistant farm director for Los Angeles before being promoted to director of player development in 2019.
The fact that Rhymes played for the Tigers is already intriguing. The Tigers already have several members of their coaching staff, including Hinch, bench coach George Lombard, and third base coach Ramon Santiago, among others, that spent time in Detroit as players. Adding a GM that played for the Tigers would be pretty cool, and that fact the he also comes from the Dodgers is an added bonus.
The Dodgers have a loaded farm system pretty much every year. Even better, they have developed a track record of having players develop further after reaching the big leagues. A perfect example of this is Max Muncy. He was a nobody with the Oakland Athletics, then he comes to LA and hits 35 homers with a .973 OPS in 2018, which is before Rhymes was promoted to his current position, but it just goes to show how good the Dodgers are at developing players. He is also known for having one of the best eyes in the league, boasting a career walk rate of 15.1%.
There are countless other examples. The Dodgers are a juggernaut for a variety of reasons, and Rhymes deserves some credit.
The main concern with Rhymes would be his lack of GM experience, mainly with things like trade negotiations. What the Tigers could do is hire an advisor or two to help him out with that, or they could have Jay Sartori take on a similar role. But to have the opportunity to hire someone from the Dodgers who also happens to be a former Tiger is something that Ilitch and company should jump at.