Ron Gardenhire will be the next manager of the Detroit Tigers, sources tell ESPN, confirming a report by The Athletic.
Gardenhire, who spent this past season as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bench coach, spent 13 seasons as manager of the Minnesota Twins, leading them to six postseason appearances. He was fired after the 2014 season.
Gardenhire, 59, brings a reputation as a players’ manager and was a help to first-year Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.
Gardenhire replaces Brad Ausmus, who was told last month that his contract would not be renewed.
The Tigers are in rebuilding mode and traded away J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and Justin Verlander this season. They finished the season with a 64-98 record.
“As we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position,” Al Avila, executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, said in announcing Ausmus’ departure.
Gardenhire also interviewed Wednesday for the Red Sox managing job.
Ausmus is another candidate for the Red Sox job, as is Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who interviewed for the Tigers job. Cora is perceived across baseball as the likely front-runner for the Red Sox.
Gardenhire led the Twins to a record of 1,068-1,038, and is second only to Tom Kelly on the team’s managerial wins list.
Gardenhire was named AL Manager of the Year in 2010 and guided the Twins to six American League Central Division titles from 2002 to ’10, including an ALCS appearance in 2002. Overall, his postseason record was 6-21, with the last win coming in 2004.
Over his last four years in Minnesota, the Twins went 78-148 from Aug. 1 on for an abysmal .345 winning percentage.
The Twins finished 70-92 in Gardenhire’s final season, making him just the fourth manager in the game’s history to preside over at least four straight 90-loss seasons with the same team, joining Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics (nine), Zach Taylor of the St. Louis Browns (four) and Kelly (four).
Gardenhire rejoined the Twins as a special assistant to general manager Terry Ryan in 2016, and he joined the Diamondbacks before the 2017 season.
Gardenhire had surgery to remove his prostate gland on April 18 and rejoined the Diamondbacks on May 14. In August, he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he’d received a clean bill of health.
Information from ESPN’s Scott Lauber and The Associated Press was used in this report.