From among the multitude of candidates being considered by Detroit Tigers’ general manager Al Avila in his exhaustive search for a new manager, there could be a favorite emerging from the pack. Fredi Gonzalez, the former manager of the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves is now “considered the favorite” to become the Tigers’ next manager, per John Perrotto of Fanrag sports.
Perrotto points out that Gonzalez, who is currently the Marlins’ third base coach, has ten years of managerial experience, and has has ties to Tigers general manager Al Avila going all way back to 1992 when Gonzalez managed Marlins’ short-season Class A Erie farm club and Avila was the expansion franchise’s assistant direction of Latin American operations.
BYB profiled Gonzalez here as a candidate to manage the team after the Tigers announced that manager Brad Ausmus would not be returning for the 2018 season. The 53-year-old Gonzalez was born in Cuba, raised in Miami, and managed the Marlins from 2007- 2010 and the Braves from 2011- 2016. He has plenty of experience working with younger players who are just breaking into the major leagues, which is something that the Tigers figure to have a lot of in the next few seasons.
Perrotto also reported that there is “sentiment within the organization” in favor of hiring Dodgers’ farm director Gabe Kapler, who spent the first two seasons of his 12 year career with the Tigers.
“It would be a little bit of outside-the-box but I think he’d be a good choice,” an executive from an AL team said. “They are in the beginning stages of a massive rebuild and he loves working with young players. He would embrace the opportunity.”
Kapler was traded to the Texas Rangers in 1999 as part of a nine player deal for Juan Gonzalez. A trade which will live in infamy.
Avila has said that he hopes to have a new manager in place by the end of October.