Tigers fans scoffed at the suggestion that Brad Ausmus could be a hot commodity following his mediocre, four-year run as Detroit’s manager.
Yet, it certainly appears Ausmus’ stock is hot as several clubs search for their next skippers.
Ausmus’ name has been tied to multiple openings, including with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. And now, with the news Wednesday that the Boston Red Sox are firing John Farrell, Ausmus’ name has jumped to the top of the list there, too.
In fact, at least one betting site — BetDSI.eu — lists him as the favorite to take over in Boston, reuniting with his former boss in Detroit, and the man who gave him his first crack at managing, Dave Dombrowski.
Ausmus is a New England native, growing up in Connecticut as a Red Sox fan. The first game he ever saw was at Fenway Park.
Ausmus, 48, took the Tigers to the playoffs in 2014, when they were swept in the first round by the Baltimore Orioles. Since, Detroit missed the postseason three consecutive years, finishing in last place in 2017. That earned the Tigers the No. 1 pick in next June’s draft.
Shortly before the end of the season, general manager Al Avila announced Ausmus would not return. Ausmus told reporters he was unlikely to return, even if offered a contract extension.
It’s unclear if Ausmus is itching to manage in 2018, though the fact his name has been tied to multiple jobs — essentially, every opening other than the Tigers — suggests there has been some level of contact and dialogue established between the parties. Other manager jobs may open up in the coming weeks, with eyes on the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees.
He was 314-332 in four years as manager of the Tigers, in his first coaching or managing job at any level. It’s worth noting, it’s not unusual for managers to have much more success in their second or third gigs than their first. Some examples include Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa. It’s becoming clear, some executives around the league are much more enamored with Ausmus’ potential than Tigers fans ever were.