PHOENIX — For the first time, A.J. Hinch was asked publicly about his contract with the Detroit Tigers. Fans want to know if Hinch, one of the best managers in baseball and a 2017 World Series champion, plans to stick around.
Hinch, given a chance to set the record straight, refused to answer contract questions with clarity ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
The inquiry in the visitor’s dugout stemmed from a June 22 report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who picked apart the organization’s failures under general manager Al Avila and revealed some details of Hinch’s contract.
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The Tigers hired Hinch in October 2020, after he served a season-long suspension for his role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. According to Rosenthal, Hinch’s contract runs for five years, from 2021 to 2025, which neither the Tigers nor Hinch have disclosed.
In October 2017, the Tigers announced a three-year contract for manager Ron Gardenhire. In November 2013, the Tigers announced a three-year contract for manager Brad Ausmus, with a club option for a fourth season.
Before Friday’s game, Hinch was asked about the length of his contract.
“I really never talk about it because it’s never really been an issue to me,” Hinch said. “Attention was brought to it earlier in the season. There was nothing to report. There was nothing to talk about. I’m here to hopefully build a winner and be a part of this for a long time. I didn’t see why it was an issue when someone first mentioned my contract. I don’t see why it would…