Could the Detroit Tigers be grooming Al Avila’s replacement from within?

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /

There’s plenty of reasons to question the Detroit Tigers and their front office. While the 2021 season has been moving in the right direction and things are going better than they have been, the front office is going to need to change somewhere down the line.

Since the Dave Dombrowski era ended, the Detroit Tigers have left the general manager duties to Al Avila. While there have been some stellar drafts, the player movement has been quite questionable at times. The team’s whole front office is not to blame for Avila’s old-school thoughts and processes.

The Tigers need to make the transition to the new-school way of doing things, and it seems like Avila has begun to realize that. The Tigers have made some changes in the front office, handing out some new titles and officially adding some responsibility to some staff who have been around.

Two of the Tigers front office personnel, Sam Menzin, and Jay Sartori, were given the vice president/assistant general manager tag in recent promotions. Avila professed about the amazing job Menzin has done and mentioned how his “right-hand man” was more than deserving of the new gig.

Could the Detroit Tigers be grooming Al Avila’s replacement?

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Sam Menzin has been with the Tigers organization for quite some time after attending Swarthmore college. Menzin has been one of the reliable and young minds in the Tigers front office.

Avila acknowledged that the organization needs to start incorporating some more new-school strategies and technology into how the Tigers function.

Avila is trusting Menzin to bring some of this to the table and try to incorporate more of this into Avila’s plans as the big man in charge.

While things will likely not take a turn and show visible changes (to fans) until there’s a change in the GM title, Menzin is going to do a lot of good in his new role. Avila is going to be out the door as the Tigers general manager eventually.

From the way Avila labels Menzin as his right-hand man and go-to guy, it seems like there’s a lot of faith in Menzin. It may be early to start making a prediction like this, but Avila is grooming Menzin to be his replacement, if I had to bet.

It’s not a bad thing, Menzin may not have the experience in the role, but he has been in the Tigers front office for so long that he knows the ins and outs and is going to learn a lot from Avila in his new role.

He knows the team’s farm system, he knows the team’s roster, and he knows the personnel in the front office. It’s early to have this conversation, but if Avila is going to be out the door in the near-ish future, grooming Menzin for the job is a quality idea.

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For now, it stands as a simple promotion, but that could turn out to be a solid move for the future of the Tigers organization.