Al Avila said the Tigers would consider AJ Hinch in their search for a new manager, despite his transgressions in Houston.
And now it appears they're hiring him.
After interviewing with the team Thursday, Hinch is "widely regarded as the favorite" to land the job, according to Buster Olney, with the Tigers "making decisive progress toward finalizing their choice."
Hinch, 46, was suspended by MLB for the 2020 season for his role in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. But he also managed the team to three division championships, two AL pennants and the 2017 World Series title over five years in Houston.
Hinch's bench coach in 2017, Alex Cora, was also suspended this season.
Asked about the duo at the outset of the Tigers' manager search, Avila said, "Obviously the cheating scandal is not a good thing. They’re serving their suspensions and then they'll be free to pursue their careers. So we have not eliminated anybody from our list at this point."
As of Thursday night, Olney reports that a deal between Hinch and Detroit is not yet completed.
The Tigers are replacing Ron Gardenhire in the dugout after the longtime manager retired toward the end of the 2020 season due to health concerns.