The Detroit Tigers should hire over instead of promote under
As stated earlier, Avila was an internal promotion following the dismissal of Dave Dombrowski. Granted, at the time, Avila was considered one of the more up-and-coming executives in the game and many in the league felt he’d be in line for a shot at General Manager some day regardless–but Avila was charged with what was then called a ‘re-tooling’ of the roster, but was eventually labeled a rebuild after an unsuccessful 2016 season.
The Detroit Tigers took the same approach with their MLB club for years. Players that came up through the minor leagues were promoted internally with no real competition from the outside. Those who performed were given more prominent roles (take Gregory Soto, for example), and those who did not were replaced with a different internal option (take JaCoby Jones for Akil Baddoo).
Rather than the Detroit Tigers gifting the job to someone like Sam Menzin, they did an exhaustive search and felt as if they hired the best candidate possible, regardless of their current role with the organization. The Detroit Tigers desperately need this philosophy implemented into their acquisition strategy for MLB talent.
Note that Menzin is still in the organization–this isn’t calling for a huge turnover necessarily (although that will undoubtedly be part of the equation), but rather, bringing in better talent so that existing players don’t need to play the most prominent role. Examples where this can be deployed include the closer role with Gregory Soto and Jonathan Schoop at second base.
Most fans like Soto and the results have been solid, but we can agree he’s no Josh Hader or Aroldis Chapman–but that’s okay. Soto can still help and be a vital piece of the bullpen without needing to come in on every save situation. Likewise, Schoop’s defense is valuable and his versatility within the infield can provide value, but his offense wasn’t playoff-caliber this season. To limit his at-bats, the club can still use him as a defensive replacement or put him in more favorable match-ups without casting him away and creating $7.5 million in dead money.