The Detroit Tigers fired general manager Al Avila on Wednesday afternoon, a symptom of the lack of progress that the franchise has shown in 2022.
Avila’s tenure as the Tigers’ GM lasted seven years, as he ascended to the role in 2015 after Dave Dombrowski’s dismissal.
It’s a step back from the progress they had shown in 2021, especially since May.
It would appear that ownership isn’t very happy with Avila, at least judging by some comments Chris Ilitch, chairman and CEO of the Tigers.
“Wow. Chris Ilitch on shedding payroll and trading away players like Justin Verlander and JD Martinez: ‘I didn’t trade those players away. Right? Our general manager did,'” Brad Galli, Sports Director at WXYZ Detroit, tweeted.
Chris Ilitch on shedding payroll and trading away players like Justin Verlander and JD Martinez: "I didn't trade those players away. Right? Our general manager did." pic.twitter.com/yTuQodyVOO
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 10, 2022
Those remarks came yesterday, after it was revealed the Tigers fired Avila.
Failed Trades And A Ruined Reputation
The Verlander trade is one of the worst the Tigers have made in recent memory.
It happened in 2017.
The Astros sent right-hander Franklin Perez (No. 3 Astros prospect back then, per MLBPipeline.com), outfielder Daz Cameron (No. 9), and catcher Jake Rogers (No. 11) to the Tigers in exchange for the star pitcher.
As the Astros won the World Series that year, the Tigers haven’t been competitive in years.
Avila also swung and missed with other trades.
None of those six prospects turned out to have a meaningful MLB career.
Tigers ownership isn’t exactly free of any blame, but Avila did himself no favors.