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Brad Ausmus won't return as Tigers manager in 2018

The Detroit Tigers spent the second half of 2017 coming to grips with the fact that they’re rebuilding. That meant trading away Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez. And on Friday it meant confirming that they’ll be looking for a new manager.

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The Tigers announced Friday that manager Brad Ausmus won’t return after this season. His contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and the Tigers say it won’t be renewed, leaving Ausmus to finish out his final nine games as Detroit’s skipper.

In a statement released Friday by the team, GM Al Avila said:

“As we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position,” said Al Avila, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “Brad has done an admirable job under, at times, difficult circumstances, especially this season, and we appreciate his professionalism and dedication to the Tigers the past four years. Our search for a new manager is underway. We plan to keep an open-mind in considering current members of the coaching staff for positions in 2018, but that will be in conjunction with the manager we hire.”

Brad Ausmus won’t return as Tigers manager in 2018. (AP)

After the Tigers’ announcement, Ausmus told reporters we likely wouldn’t have come back anyway:

Ausmus was hired as Tigers manager after the 2013 season with no big-league coaching experience. He followed Jim Leyland in the job, and in 2014 took the Tigers back to the playoffs and an AL Central title. But it’s been all downhill from there. The Tigers finished last in 2015 with 74 wins, rebounded and finished second in 2016 and find themselves in fourth this season. The Tigers went from 90 wins in 2014 to 62 so far in 2017. As of Friday, his career record as Tigers manager is 312-325.

Ausmus is the first manager to officially learn his fate as the season comes to end, but the Tigers’ job won’t be the only one open. Recent reports say Mets manager Terry Collins will retire at the end of the season. Braves manager Brian Snitker is also on the hot seat, as is Mike Matheny in St. Louis, although to a lesser extent than Ausmus and Collins.

Mike Redmond, the former Marlins manager, is one name that’s already been floated as a candidate in Detroit.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!