DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) — The Detroit Tigers have fired longtime General Manager Al Avila, who spent over two decades with the organization in various roles.
Avila has been the general manager for the Tigers since 2015 after taking over for Dave Dombrowski.
Detroit struggled mightily during Avila’s tenure, having just won winning season with him at the helm.
The Tigers leadership thanked Avila for his years of service to the organization, but said they ultimately decided to go in a different direction.
“Al’s loyalty and dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department,” said Christopher llitch, Detroit Tigers Chairman and CEO. “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. 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.
“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 our objectives. To be clear, our goals are to build a team that wins on a sustainable basis, qualifies for the playoffs, and ultimately wins the World Series.”
Illitch is holding a press confernece at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the news.
Sam Menzin, Vice President and Assistant General Manager will continue as the day-to-day point of contact for the Major League team.
Avila originally 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. litch, along with Chris, for the opportunity and treating me and my family as their own,” said Avila. “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.”