Detroit — When the Tigers hired Lloyd McClendon to replace Wally Joyner as hitting coach this offseason, it opened up the managerial job at Triple A Toledo.
There was some initial media speculation that Alan Trammell might be among the candidates for the position. He never was. General manager Al Avila moved quickly and hired Mike Rojas. On Saturday, he explained why he didn’t consider Trammell.
“The job he does for us is really special,” Avila said. “I don’t think people understand or appreciate the job he does. He goes to the minor leagues and works with our players. He works with our staff. And what he reports back to me is really valuable information for me.”
Avila offered a case in point: JaCoby Jones. When the Tigers were in the process of trading Joakim Soria to the Pirates at the trade deadline in 2015, they didn’t have an organizational scouting report on Jones, the prospect the Pirates were offering.
“He was going from one league to the other and we missed him,” Avila said. “But Tram and (assistant general manager) David Chadd had seen him play at Double-A. They were the only eyes we had on him. So when we walked into the room and they mentioned Jones to us, they were the ones who saw him.
“And that’s just one aspect of what he does.”
Since the Toledo job was never offered, Trammell didn’t spend a single second thinking about it.
“But with you asking me about it right now, my first reaction is no,” Trammell said. “I really enjoy what I’m doing. I am in a great spot. At this stage of my life, now that the transition (from coaching) has been a few years, the fact that I can be on the field on a regular basis and I’m doing it in a variety of ways — I enjoy it.”
Trammell’s title is special assistant to the general manager, and he serves as a scout and in player development — at all levels. He will work with the big league club in spring training and at certain times during the season. But the vast majority of his time is spent traveling to all rungs of the minor league system — scouting and working with players.
“He does a great job and that is not just smoke,” Avila said. “This is really nuts and bolts, meat and potatoes of what he does. In my mind, I never figured that job (Triple-A manager) for him. I think for him, he’s more of a front office guy and he helps me on a different level.”
That suits Trammell perfectly, though he hasn’t completely ruled out a return to coaching.
“I guess you never say never,” he said. “If someone were to present something to me, you would at least have to think about it and consider it. But I wasn’t and I am really happy with what I am doing right now.”