Reliever Javier Lopez has announced his retirement, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. “More than anything, it’s just time. It’s a young man’s game. Although I think I can compete, it’s getting harder and harder to get ready for spring,” Lopez said.
He continued, “I’m looking forward to some other things in my life. We’ll see what they are. I don’t know yet, but we’ll come up with something.”
Lopez, 39, played 14 seasons in the majors with the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Pirates, and Giants. He won four championships: one with the Red Sox and three with the Giants. The lefty retires with a career 3.48 ERA over 533 1/3 innings.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.