Monday, February 26, 2024

Tigers sign manager A.J. Hinch to contract extension as Detroit rebuild continues

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The Detroit Tigers and manager A.J. Hinch agreed to a contract extension earlier this offseason, club president Scott Harris told reporters at the Winter Meetings Monday (via Cody Stavenhagen). Apparently the deal was completed shortly after the 2023 regular season. No terms on the new deal are available, but Hinch was previously signed through the 2025 season, so it’s at least through 2026 and very likely several years past that. 

“We are pumped that A.J. is going to be the manager of the Tigers for a long time,” Harris said (via Stavenhagen).

Hinch will turn 50 next May and this coming season will mark his 11th as a manager. He started with two partial seasons for the Diamondbacks back in his mid-30s. He’s most notable for his second manager job, as he led the Astros from 2015 through 2019. He made the playoffs four of five seasons there, winning the AL West three times, taking two AL pennants and winning the 2017 World Series. He won 101, 103 and 107 games, respectively, in his final three seasons there. He was fired before the 2020 season due to the sign stealing scandal.

It didn’t take long for Hinch to find a new job, as the Tigers hired him for the managerial post heading into the 2021 season. The rebuilding Tigers were a pleasantly surprising 77-85 in 2021, though they took a big step backward by losing 96 games in 2022. Late in the season, they fired general manager Al Avila but Hinch was retained. 

In 2023, the Tigers were expected to be one of the worst teams in baseball and were again pleasantly surprising, finishing 78-84. 

The contract extension is a clear signal that, while Hinch was a holdover from the previous administration, this current Tigers front office is aligned with him. He’ll continue to oversee the rebuilding effort.

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