Dave Dombrowski out as Tigers General Manager, team president; Al Avila takes over

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Big, rather shocking news out of Detroit as general manager Dave Dombrowski is out as general manager. Team owner Mike Illitch has characterized it thusly:

“I’ve decided to release Dave from his contract in order to afford him the time to pursue other career opportunities.”

Which is another way to say that Dombrowski, whose contract was to expire after this season, was not going to be asked back. Taking over for Dombrowski is longtime assistant Al Avila, who will assume Dombrowski’s title of GM and will be Vice President of Baseball Operations. Avila is the father of Tigers catcher/1B Alex Avila.

Dombrowski helped build this Tigers team into a perennial contender, but with their fortunes souring this season and a recent sell-off of David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, it was time to build. And building is not something Dombrowski has done a ton of in recent years.

And now a big job lays ahead for Al Avila. And big shoes to fill.