The sample size was small, and of course pre-selected for the wisest and most knowledgeable fans of the Detroit Tigers fans by virtue of it being a Bless You Boys poll, but by and large opinions of manager AJ Hinch proved very positive in our recent polling. That’s good, because he’s here for the long haul.
On Monday evening, the Detroit Tigers announced that they had signed Hinch to a long-term contract extension. His previous deal ran through 2025, and as reported by Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic, the new deal was actually completed the week after the 2023 season ended.
We noted the other day that Hinch recently indicated that he would be around for at least three more seasons when he answered “absolutely” when asked on the Foul Territory podcast if he would reach his 1000th managerial win with the Tigers. That was about as much detail as we’ve ever heard from Hinch or the Tigers for that matter, in regards to his contract status. Perhaps the chatter around that appearance sparked the announcement today.
One would guess he’s locked in for at least the next four or five seasons at this point.
Scott Harris said he approached Hinch about an extension the day after the season ended. Said it was important to make sure Hinch did not feel like an inherited manager.
"We are pumped that A.J. is going to be the manager of the Tigers for a long time," Harris said. https://t.co/dKE2oAOwI8— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) December 4, 2023
A.J. Hinch signed a contract extension with the #Tigers after the 2023 season, as announced by president of baseball operations Scott Harris.— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) December 4, 2023
Hinch: “I love working here. I love who I work for. … I think we can win here.”
The Tigers also announced the full major league coaching staff for the 2024 season on Monday from the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Anthony Iapoce, the 2023 Toledo Mud Hens manager, was recently announced to be taking over as first base coach from Alfredo Amezaga, while Joey Cora was hired a few weeks back as third base coach. Ryan Sienko was promoted to major league catching coach after Brayan Pena was announced to take over Sienko’s previous role as minor league catching coordinator.
The other new hire is Lance Zawadzki, who will succeed James Rowsom as assistant hitting coach under Keith Beauregard and Michael Brdar. Rowsom was only with the Tigers a season before the New York Yankees hired him as their head hitting coach.
The 38-year-old Zawadski was a switch-hitting middle infielder who played briefly for the San Diego Padres before getting into coaching. He’s been a hitting instructor in the Boston Red Sox farm system since 2018. This is his first major league coaching assignment.
Otherwise, the coaching staff is intact. Gary Jones moves to the dugout from third base, but he’s still on staff. Chris Fetter and his assistants, Robin Lund and Juan Nieves return. And finally, George Lombard remains bench coach for another year despite some ongoing interest in him for major league managerial vacancies.
Introducing our Major League coaching staff for the 2024 season.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) December 4, 2023
We’ve added Joey Cora, Anthony Iapoce, Ryan Sienko and Lance Zawadski to new roles with our club. pic.twitter.com/JE0VOACyWo