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|Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 12:10 am||
|Brad Ausmus is headed back for a fourth season as the Detroit Tigers' bench boss, as the club officially announced Wednesday it has exercised its 2017 option on the manager's contract.
"Brad was instrumental in leading the team through adversity and with the development of our younger players, particularly the young starting pitchers," executive vice president and general manager Al Avila said in a statement. "The team improved from last season, and under the leadership of Brad and his coaching staff, the ballclub kept fighting, and remained in contention for the postseason. Moving forward we want to build off that progress."
During his three seasons at the helm, the 47-year-old Ausmus compiled a 250-234 record, claimed a division title in 2013, and oversaw a 12-win improvement this past season.
Despite bouncing back from Detroit's last-place finish in 2015, Ausmus' job appeared in jeopardy after the club was eliminated from the wild-card chase on the final day of the season. The big-spending Tigers entered the 2016 campaign with high expectations after committing more than $200 million to free agents Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann, but were plagued by inconsistency and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.
Though the Tigers failed to make the postseason, Avila didn't believe that instinctively dropping a manager who's experienced success with the club was the way to move forward.
"Just cutting ties because you didn't get into the postseason doesn't make your team better, and isn't necessarily the right decision," he said in a conference call, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.
Ausmus, meanwhile, is ready to keep building on his young managerial career.
"I've gained experience over the three years I've been here, and just as players improve over time, I think managers improve," he told reporters.