AJ Hinch and Alex Cora as managers of the Astros and Red Sox, respectively, in 2018. (David J. Phillip)
Tigers general manager Al Avila said Friday that Detroit is not ruling out the possibility of hiring AJ Hinch or Alex Cora for the managerial job.
Hinch and Cora were suspended until the 2020 postseason for their roles in the Houston Astros' signal theft scandal . The Astros fired Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow on January 13, and Cora lost her job as manager for the Boston Red Sox the next day. Cora spent the 2017 season as a bench coach on Hinch's staff with Houston.
The Tigers are in the market looking for a replacement for manager Ron Gardenhire, who retired Sept. 19 with a little over a week into the season. Avila was asked about Hinch and Cora, and while the search for Detroit appears to be at a very early stage, the general manager at least seemed open to the possibility of hiring one of the suspended managers.
“Really, I can't say that he eliminated anyone,” Ávil told . “The cheating scandal is not a good thing, obviously. They are serving their suspensions and once the suspensions are over they will be free to continue their careers. So we have not removed anyone from our list at this time, “he added.
Avila said interviews will be conducted by video, but that he could meet face-to-face once the list of candidates is narrowed.
“We could finish this sometime in October. It could go into November. We really aren't in a rush. We're taking our time,” he said.
The Tigers went 23-35 in the short season, in the AL basement for the third time in four years .
Avila said it is important that the next manager can help with the talent evaluation, as there are important decisions to be made throughout the roster. Sounds open to a variety of experience levels for candidates.
“I guess one thing you could eliminate is a guy who maybe played and has absolutely no coaching experience, has no managerial experience, and goes from being a player straight to a major league coach,” he said.