Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila made a surprising revelation on Friday morning.
The organization plans to consider AJ Hinch and Alex Cora for the Tigers’ vacant manager position.
“I have them on my list,” he admitted.
“Obviously, the cheating scandal is not a good thing. They’re serving their suspensions. And once their suspensions are over, they’ll be free to pursue their careers. We have not eliminated anybody from our list at this point.”
Both Hinch and Cora were suspended by Major League Baseball this past year for their roles in a far-reaching sign-stealing operation run by the Houston Astros.
Earlier this year, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that an investigation showed the Astros illegally stole signs in the 2017 regular season and playoffs, as well as during parts of 2018.
The system centered around then-bench coach Cora and a number of players who were watching the live feed of the games on a monitor behind the dugout. They would then decode the signs and signal their teammates by whistling, yelling or banging a trash can with a bat.
One or two smacks would indicate a breaking ball was coming, whereas no pounding meant it was a fastball. The Commissioner’s office combed through more than 70,000 e-mails and conducted upwards of 70 interviews during the course of the investigation.
Steve Ballmer is pissed. https://t.co/Dpw2LrO7yx
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 1, 2020
Hinch was not as active of a participant in the scheme as Cora was, but the league found that he did not do enough to prevent it.
All in all, Houston got fined $5 million and was ordered to give up their draft picks in the first and second rounds of 2020 and 2021.
Hinch was fired from his post at the helm of the Astros shortly after Major League Baseball concluded its investigation.
Cora was subsequently fired by the Boston Red Sox, with whom he had been serving as manager.
Hinch won the World Series in 2017, made the ALCS in 2018 and lost the World Series in 2019. Cheating scandal notwithstanding, it is easy to see why his record of winning and seven years of solid managerial experience would be appealing.
Jerry Jones always speaks his mind. https://t.co/5uJC1Dlt53
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 2, 2020
Cora only has two years of experience – winning the World Series in 2018 and missing the playoffs altogether in 2019.
Due to their suspensions being for the entirety of the season, Avila cannot reach out to either Hinch or Cora until the World Series comes and goes.
Avila is seeking a replacement for Ron Gardenhire, who retired on Sept. 19 of this year.