Al Avila is out as the general manager and executive vice president of the Detroit Tigers, the club announced on Wednesday.
With the club since 2002, Avila was promoted to GM in 2015.
“Once I decided to make a change, I sat down with Al and thanked him for his nearly 22 years of service to our organization,” team chairman and owner Chris Ilitch said in a statement. “Al’s loyalty and
dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department."
A 64-year-old native of Havana, Avila had signed a multi-year extension with the club in 2019.
“For nearly 22 years, | have given my heart and soul to this franchise, and I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. llitch, along with Chris, for the opportunity and treating me and my family as their own,” Avila said in a statement. "We've celebrated successes and enjoyed great moments, and I’m proud to have worked with so many talented people in baseball operations and throughout the organization. I’ll cherish our friendships and the successes we all celebrated together. To Tigers fans, you’re the best and you deserve a winner. I wish the results would have been better this season but know there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years. God Bless everyone.”
Ilitch says he will oversee the hiring process for the new head of baseball operations with the goal of building a World Series contender.
"I want to re-establish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that," Ilitch said. "They'll be entering an organization with many foundational
elements in place and an exciting path forward. Tigers fans deserve winning teams, and I’m highly focused and committed to deliver that to the people of Detroit and Michigan. With new baseball operations leadership will come a fresh perspective toward evolving our roster and maximizing our talent to reach our objectives. To be clear, our goals are to build a team that wins on a sustainable basis, qualifies for the playoffs, and ultimately wins the World Series."
The Tigers last made the playoffs in 2014, the final year of four straight postseason appearances.
The team currently sits at 43-68 (.387), last in the American League Central and 15 games behind the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins for the division lead.