Embed from Getty Images In perhaps the bottoming out season of a rebuild, and in a season in which wins have been mission impossible, the Detroit Tigers gave a new contract to general manager Al Avila. Needless to say reaction has been mixed around the Motor City.
Deep into a rebuilding hole in which there is no turning around, Al Avila signed a new deal. The deal is one that team president and CEO Christopher Ilitch had presented to him this spring.
Al Avila is currently in his fourth season as the main architect of Tigers baseball. When he took over in August of 2016, the Tigers were an old ball team with a very bad minor league farm system. The rebuild was well overdue.
Through trades and good drafting the Detroit Tigers now have a top 10 minor league, and in a relatively short amount of time. That is the good news. Avila has made some questionable choices in free agency. Some have hurt the team by being unable to flip those free agents for prospects because of poor performances.
“We are right in the middle of it,” Avila said of the Detroit rebuild. “It’s a tough time. You start it, you start moving along, there’s a fast pace to it and at the end, when really, quite frankly, you start seeing it come together and then you can see the light.”
The stockpile of prospects alone does not guarantee success. Yet, teams that are winning now after a prolonged rebuild understand the value of collecting young talent. If a team collects enough good talent, the odds are good they will find a few players to build around.
The real reason Christopher Ilitch gave an extension to the Tigers general manager is it would be pointless to switch in the middle of a rebuild. Avila should be able to see it through. Now he gets his chance.
Unhappy fans need to understand the Detroit Tigers underwent into a full-scale rebuild. This is what it looks like. Fans also need to understand the Tigers have amassed some very good prospects under Avila’s watch. Other top baseball executives have commented on what the Tigers have in their minor leagues. Some have even asked for a trade or two.
There has been enough progress made that it warranted the extension. Now armed with three players (Shane Greene, Matthew Boyd and Nicholas Castellanos) being made available for the trade deadline. Al Avila and the Detroit Tigers could get a very nice haul of prospects.