3 Reasons Why The Tigers Are Bringing Brad Ausmus Back
Almost everyone was surprised when the Detroit Tigers announced on Saturday that manager Brad Ausmus will be back at the helm next season.
It had seemed like a foregone conclusion that the club would have a new head man next season after a terrible 2015 campaign. But everyone's favorite Dartmouth alumnus will be back patrolling the home clubhouse at Comerica Park in 2016!
Most people are still trying to figure out why, so let's try to answer that question:
Detroit is tied up in a lot of bad contracts for the foreseeable future. Justin Verlander is owed an average of $25.7 million per season through 2021. For Victor Martinez, it's $17 million through 2019.
Then the team owes Miguel Cabrera $31 million per season through 2024, and Ian Kinsler gets $15 million per through 2019. Anibal Sanchez, too, is on the line for $16 million through 2019. (Not to mention the Tigers will be paying the Texas Rangers $30 million over the next five seasons for taking Prince Fielder off their hands)
So that's an average of $100-plus million per season the Tigers owe those guys in total as long as they're all on the team together. News of new GM Al Avila's decision to bring Ausmus back could indicate that the club intends to trade away much of those contracts--essentially, the Tigers could be readying to blow their roster up and start all over.
Could it be that Ausmus actually showed management something that convinced them to give him another year?
Highly doubtful, considering the slew of questionable calls the guy has made in his short tenure. But it's still a possibility.
This is the only other potential rationale I could see for the Tigers' new GM electing to bring Ausmus back.