The Detroit Tigers are closing in on A.J. Hinch as their next manager, according to The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen.
Hinch, the Tigers’ top choice, interviewed for the job Thursday. A final decision could come as soon as Friday, a source said.
The White Sox were interested in Hinch but hired Hall of Famer Tony La Russa earlier Thursday. “The White Sox did us a big favor,” a Tigers official told The Athletic.
The move would bring the former Astros manager back into Major League Baseball after Hinch served a season-long suspension in the aftermath of Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.
Hinch, 46, managed the Astros from 2015-19, winning the World Series in 2017 and taking Houston to four playoff appearances in five seasons.
He was suspended through the conclusion of the World Series after an MLB investigation implicated Hinch in the Astros’ scheme to steal signs during the 2017 season. Of the three people suspended — former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and former Astros bench coach and Red Sox manager Alex Cora were also reprimanded — Hinch is the first to be hired back into the league.
Hinch previously managed the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2009-2010.
He replaces Ron Gardenhire, who retired on Sept. 19 after two-plus seasons in charge of the Tigers, citing health concerns.
Detroit, which went 23-35 in the shortened 2020 season, have not reached the playoffs since 2014.
This is a developing story. More to come.