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Tigers choose former longtime Twins manager Ron Gardenhire as new skipper, reports say

Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire (35) acknowledges the crowd after making his first appearance back at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers will hire Ron Gardenhire to manage the club through what is expected to be a rebuilding phase.

Multiple outlets reported late Thursday that Gardenhire will replace Brad Ausmus, whom the team chose not to retain when his contract expired at the end of the season.

Terms of Gardenhire's contract were unknown. He also interviewed for the Boston Red Sox's vacant managerial job.

Gardenhire, 59, comes with plenty of experience in the American League Central Division. He managed the Minnesota Twins for 13 seasons from 2002-14.

He guided the Twins to six Central championships and compiled a record of 1,068-1,039 (.507 winning percentage). His only playoff series win came in 2002 in the American League Division Series.

He spent this season as a bench coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks and missed five weeks early in the season after undergoing prostate cancer treatment.

Ausmus led the Tigers to the postseason in his first year at the helm. Since then, Detroit struggled in a division that saw Kansas City appear in two consecutive World Series followed by the Cleveland Indians reaching the Fall Classic last season.

This year, the Tigers finished a league-worst 64-98 and traded away veteran stars Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez.

Detroit will have the top pick in the 2018 draft.

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