The Tigers may be up for a rebuild after firing manager Brad Ausmus and securing the #1 pick in next June’s draft. With their managerial position now open, General Manager Al Avila will have to find the next skipper to lead a potentially much younger club.
That search may include Royals coach Pedro Grifol, according to FanRag reporter Jon Heyman.
Grifol joined the Royals organization in 2013, coming over from the Mariners system. He worked in the minors, managing the High Desert affiliate in High A in 2012. In 2013, he replaced George Brett, who was filling in on an interim basis, as hitting coach, after the Royals began the year with Andre David and Jack Maloof. In 2014, after the offense struggled, he was re-assigned to “catching instructor” with Dale Sveum assuming hitting coach duties.
Grifol has been a jack-of-all-trades as a coach in his five years with the club, and has been part of two pennant-winning teams and a championship, so perhaps it is not that unusual that his name has come up as a managerial candidate. Grifol seems to have a very good rapport with players, frequently serving as the translator for the Spanish-speaking players.
This is still just a preliminary list, no interviews have been scheduled, as far as we know. The Royals have already had some turnover this off-season, parting ways with pitchign coach Dave Eiland, bullpen coach Doug Henry, assistant hitting coach Brian Buchanan, and bench coach Don Wakamatsu.
The Tigers are also rumored to be looking at former Marlins manager Mike Redmond as a candidate.