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Rumor: Tigers to fire Brad Ausmus at end of 2015 season

Given the team's recent performance, this isn't much of a surprise.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Update: The Tigers released a statement refuting the report that manager Brad Ausmus will be fired, stating that no decision has been made but one will come by the end of the season.

"I have stated several times since becoming Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager that we are evaluating all personnel, and know that includes the players, the manager and his staff, and minor league operations," Al Avila said. "In fact, I reconfirmed with Mr. Ilitch and Manager Brad Ausmus this morning that these evaluations are on-going and decisions in any of these areas will be made by the end of the season."

Original: He hasn't been fired yet, but an already piping hot seat is quickly coming to a boil. Bernie Smilovitz of Detroit television station WDIV reports that the Detroit Tigers will fire manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2015 season, citing Al Avila's desire for a fresh start after taking the general manager position in early August.

This news comes as no surprise to anyone who has watched the Tigers this year. The losses have piled up, and a preseason division favorite currently sits at 64-76, in last place in the American League Central Division. Injuries have not helped, but an underperforming squad has frustrated fans and team executives alike all season long.

With a sizable payroll commitment for 2016 and beyond, expectations will still be high heading into next season. A new manager will face similar challenges to those that Ausmus had on day one -- namely, squeeze as much out of an aging core as possible -- though it remains to be seen whether Avila will build the periphery of the roster differently than his predecessor, former Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Ausmus is under contract through the 2016 season, though questions about his job security have gotten much louder after Dombrowski and the club parted ways. Avila danced around questions about committing to Ausmus in 2016 during his introductory press conference, and the team's performance has given the new GM little reason to keep a lame duck manager around for another season.