As the Tigers find themselves in a full rebuild, numerous candidates are being interviewed for Brad Ausmus’s former position. Internal candidates include Omar Viquel, Lloyd Mclendon, and Dave Clark to go along with a large list of 40+ external candidates that include Ron Gardenhire, Mike Redmon, and Joe McEwing. One name however keeps getting mentioned more and more across multiple data sources and seems to be the lead candidate early in the process.
That candidate is former Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves manager, and current Miami Marlins third base coach, Fredi Gonzalez. Gonzalez last managed in Atlanta 2016, where he was fired after a 9-28 start.
Overall, Gonzalez is 710-692 (.506%) as a manger, has had five winning seasons out of ten and made the playoffs twice and just missed a third time with Florida in 2009.
In my opinion, this hire would make a lot of sense as it checks a few boxes. First, Gonzalez is Cuban and can relate to what had been a very strong Latin American clubhouse. Second, is Gonzalez managerial experience, and third, his success in Florida in ’08 & ’09, where he had a winning record, despite having the lowest payroll in the league.
On a side note, Al Avila is familiar with Fredi, as they were growing within the Marlins organization during the same timeframe (’92-’02).