Detroit Tigers fire general manager Al Avila after 7 seasons

·2 min read

The Detroit Tigers have fired general manager Al Avila.

The team announced the decision Wednesday.

Before the 2022 season, Avila proclaimed the prolonged rebuild had ended and set his sights on snapping the franchise's seven-year postseason drought. But through 111 games, the Tigers own a 43-68 record, have the worst offense in baseball and are the worst team in the American League Central.

"Once I decided to make a change, I sat down with Al and thanked him for his nearly 22 years of service to our organization," owner Christopher Ilitch said in a statement. "Al's loyalty and dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department.

"I will oversee the search process for our next baseball operations leader, in collaboration with several members of our baseball and business operations executive teams."

The Tigers practiced April 7, 2022, at Comerica Park, a day before the season opener against the Chicago White Sox. General manager Al Avila was nearby to watch the players work.
The Tigers practiced April 7, 2022, at Comerica Park, a day before the season opener against the Chicago White Sox. General manager Al Avila was nearby to watch the players work.

Until a new general manager is hired, assistant general manager Sam Menzin oversee the day-to-day operations for the team. Avila worked as the general manager for seven seasons, beginning in August 2015.

He compiled a 404-573 record.

"I want to re-establish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that," Ilitch said. "They'll be entering an organization with many foundational elements in place and an exciting path forward.

"Tigers fans deserve winning teams, and I'm highly focused and committed to deliver that to the people of Detroit and Michigan. With new baseball operations leadership will come a fresh perspective toward evolving our roster and maximizing our talent to reach out objectives. To be clear, our goals are to build a team that wins on a sustainable basis, qualified for the playoffs, and ultimately wins the World Series."

A LOOK BACK: Al Avila took over 7 years ago. Here's how he has managed the roster

Under Avila's leadership, the Tigers never reached the playoffs. His best finish came in 2016, when the team went 86-75 and finished second in the AL Central but missed the postseason on the final day of the regular season.

Avila joined the organization in 2002 as assistant general manager.

"For nearly 22 years, I have given my heart and soul to this franchise, and I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, along with Chris, for the opportunity and treating me and my family as their own," Avila said in a statement. "We've celebrated successes and enjoyed great moments, and I'm proud to have worked with so many talented people in baseball operations and throughout the organization.

"I'll cherish our friendships and the successes we all celebrated together. To Tigers fans, you're the best and you deserve a winner. I wish the results would have been better this season but know there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years. God bless everyone."

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers fire GM Al Avila after 7 seasons