BREAKING: Tigers hiring Arizona Diamondbacks Gardenhire as manager

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 14: Manager Torey Lovullo and bench coach Ron Gardenhire.
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 14: Manager Torey Lovullo and bench coach Ron Gardenhire. /

According to Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic, the Detroit Tigers are planning to hire Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire as its next manager

Ron Gardenhire is reportedly headed back to the American League Central to manage the Detroit Tigers in 2018, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic.

Once the contract is completed, according to Rosenthal’s major league sources, the D-backs will have a spot to fill on its major-league coaching staff.

The 59-year-old Gardenhire just completed his first season as the right-hand man under first-year manager Torey Lovullo. The former major-league infielder did miss a chunk of the season recovering from prostate cancer surgery.

Gardenhire managed the Minnesota Twins for 12 seasons (2002-2014), where he became the winningest manager in franchise history (1,068-1,039) and guided the franchise to six postseason appearances. The West Germany native brings 25 years of MLB coaching experience to a young, rebuilding Tigers ball club.

After many reports linked Gardenhire as a finalist for the Red Sox vacant managerial position, he interviewed with Boston on Wednesday. The Detroit News reported Gardenhire as a candidate the Tigers would interview.

According to Strang, one attribute separated Gardenhire from the other candidates the Tigers considered.

"Multiple sources told The Athletic’s Katie Strang that Tigers general manager Al Avila entered the process leaning heavily toward a candidate with previous MLB managerial experience. Gardenhire was seen as a seasoned, battle-tested option in this regard."

If the contract is finalized, Gardenhire will replace Brad Ausmus, who was fired at the conclusion of the regular season.

Now Lovullo and the D-backs’ front office have to find a new bench coach. Reno Aces manager Jerry Narron became the interim bench coach after Gardenhire had successful surgery to remove his prostate.

When Gardenhire returned, Narron stayed on Lovullo’s staff as a major-league coach and figures to be a candidate.

This is the second significant departure in as many days for the D-backs. Tony La Russa announced his decision to leave the organization after one season as Chief Baseball Analyst.

"Arizona Diamondbacks: Ron Gardenhire could manage again in 2018"

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