GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Detroit Tigers are hoping to “progress towards building a winning team” by firing their general manager.
The baseball team announced Wednesday on Twitter that it has “parted ways” with Executive Vice President and General Manager Al Avila. The change is effective immediately.
Christopher Ilitch, Detroit Tigers Chairman and CEO said once he decided to make the change, he sat down with Avila to thank him for nearly 22 years of service.
“Al’s loyalty and dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department,” Ilitch said in a statement.
Avila was named Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager by Ilitch in 2015, after joining the Tigers in 2002 as Assistant General Manager.
Ilitch said he will collaborate with several members of executive teams to oversee the search process for the team’s next baseball operations leader.
“I want to re-establish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that … Tigers fans deserve winning teams, and I’m highly focused and committed to deliver that to the people of Detroit and Michigan,” Ilitch wrote.
He said with new leadership will come a “fresh perspective,” in building a roster and utilizing talent.
“To be clear, our goals are to build a team that wins on a sustainable basis, qualifies for the playoffs, and ultimately wins the World Series,” Ilitch added.
Avila issued a statement after the news.
“For nearly 22 years, I have given my heart and soul to this franchise, and I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, along with Chris, for the opportunity and treating me and my family as their own,” he said. “We’ve celebrated successes and enjoyed great moments, and I’m proud to have worked with so many talented people in baseball operations and throughout the organization. I’ll cherish our friendships and the successes we all celebrated together. To Tigers fans, you’re the best and you deserve a winner. I wish the results would have been better this season but know there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years. God Bless everyone.”