Katie Strang of The Athletic reports that the Tigers will interview Fredi Gonzalez for their managerial vacancy on Thursday.
Gonzalez served as the Marlins third base coach this past year. Before that he managed the Braves for five full seasons and part of a sixth and the Marlins for three seasons and part of a fourth. He has 710-692 record in those ten seasons.
Gonzalez is not exactly a sexy choice to lead a club, but the Tigers aren’t really looking for sexy right now. They look to be embarking on a multi-year rebuild, and whoever gets the job will be tasked with caretaker duties until the club looks to improve. For that you don’t necessarily need an innovator. You need a guy who knows how to find the manager’s office, can fill out a lineup card and can teach a bunch of young, unproven players how to at least attempt to look like major leaguers while dishing the cliches to the press. Gonzalez can do that.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.