Tigers announce Brad Ausmus as manager with three-year deal

Brad Ausmus is now the Tigers manager after a long playing career.
Brad Ausmus is now the Tigers manager after a long playing career. (USATSI)

Knobler: Ausmus can be great, but can he right away?

News broke late Saturday night that the Tigers would name Brad Ausmus as their new manager, replacing recent retiree Jim Leyland at the helm of the AL Central champs. Sunday afternoon, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski held a press conference to officially make the announcement.

During the press conference, Dombrowski told reporters that Ausmus has been given a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth year.

Ausmus inherits a club with plenty of talent. The Tigers have won the AL Central for three straight seasons and advanced to the ALCS all three times -- making the World Series in 2012.

Ausmus, 44, hung around in the majors for 18 seasons despite hitting just .251/.325/.344 (75 OPS+) in his career due to being an excellent defensive catcher. He won three Gold Gloves and was widely praised for the cerebral nature with which he dealt with pitching staffs, being the primary catcher for five different Astros playoff teams and the backup catcher for another (the 2009 Dodgers).

He has ties to Detroit, too, as Ausmus was the Tigers catcher in 1999 and 2000.

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