The architect who brought the Detroit Tigers back to baseball relevancy is no longer with the team. The Tigers announced the move just this afternoon. The announcement also revealed Dombrowski’s successor: longtime-Tigers executive/ Dombrowski’s right-hand man Al Avila.
The announcement also had a few interesting nuggets of information. The most prominent being Avila stating that “We’re confident we can make a strong push to win this year, and that we have the foundation in place to win next year and for years to come.”
This goes against Dombrowski previous statements were he essentially said the team wasn’t going to win the World Series this season.
Dombrowski will be best known not only for turning around baseball in Detroit, but for fleecing other teams in trades. He acquired Miguel Cabrera, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and David Price for relatively little given the prominence of the players. Another brilliant move? Turning the expensive Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson into Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke.
Other masterstrokes include finding gems like J.D. Martinez, Al Alburquerque and Blaine Hardy off the scrap heap.
The changing of the guard in the front office may or may not impact Brad Ausmus’ future with the team, however a late postseason push/appearance may help the manager’s cause.
Still, things are changing in Detroit (baseball-wise). It started with Jim Leyland leaving and continues with Dombrowski exiting stage left. The appointment of the already-employed Avila ensures that there won’t be much adjustment in terms of the change.
Avila’s statements about contending this year should sit very well with a Tigers’ fan base that has seen the team trade away Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria in an effort to “reboot” for next season.
Detroit’s GM is no longer Dave Dombrowski, the team will now place the baseball-decision making duties in Al Avila’s hands. Hopefully for Tigers fans, Avila can deliver a World Series-winning squad.