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How Much Longer Will Avila Stay?

If you initially greeted the news of the Mariners firing their general manager with a shrug, it turns out that the ripples from Bill Bavasi's dismissal might reach the Detroit Tigers' front office. According to the Freep's Jon Paul Morosi, Seattle's front office might be interested in Dave Dombrowski's right-hand man, assistant general manager Al Avila.

Avila was a finalist for the Mariners' GM job five years ago, when the team eventually hired Bavasi, and the same executives who almost hired him then are still in place now. Seattle hasn't outright expressed interest in Avila, as they'll probably spend the rest of the season reviewing candidates and wait for permission to conduct interviews. But Morosi is still connecting dots in his article, based on the Mariners' previous interest in Avila.

Serving in his current position with the Tigers for the past six years, Avila obviously enjoys what he's doing. But the front office must surely be expecting that he'll eventually leave to run his own team. I'm surprised the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't consider him more strongly for their GM job last year. Maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but with the Tigers drafting Avila's two sons a couple of weeks ago, perhaps he'd prefer to keep an eye on their careers from within the organization.

Whoever becomes the Mariners' GM should read what Bavasi said to the Seattle press before packing up his office. And maybe Avila should give Bavasi a phone call before he considers a move to the Pacific Northwest.

UPDATE: Proper credit should really go to Danny Knobler, who posted his thoughts on Avila and Seattle yesterday on his blog. If only I'd read that before Morosi's report.