Tigers sign manager AJ Hinch to long-term contract extension

DETROIT -- Tigers manager AJ Hinch signed a contract extension that will keep him in Detroit for "a very long time," president of baseball operations Scott Harris announced Monday at baseball's winter meetings.

Terms were not disclosed. The deal came together at a dinner that included Hinch, Harris and general manager Jeff Greenberg a week after the team's season concluded on Oct. 2.

"I didn't really see it coming but I had tried to make it very clear how much I love working with Scott, getting to know Greenie and being a Tiger," Hinch said Monday, according to the Detroit News. "When he approached me about it, it was an immediate yes. I was interested in whatever they had in mind."

Hinch, 49, has managed the Tigers for three years after five seasons in Houston, where he led the Astros to the 2017 World Series title but was given a one-year suspension by Major League Baseball and fired by Houston ahead of the 2020 season for his role in the team's sign-stealing scandal.

He is 791-717 in his career as a manager, with a 221-265 record in Detroit.

The Tigers went 78-84 in 2023 -- their seventh straight losing season -- and finished second in the AL Central behind the Minnesota Twins. They failed to make the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season.

The team on Monday also announced the completion of Hinch's coaching staff for 2024, with the addition of four new coaches.

The Tigers hired Joey Cora as their third-base coach, Anthony Iapoce as first-base coach, Ryan Sienko as catching coach and Lance Zawadzki as assistant major league hitting coach.

Cora spent the past two seasons coaching third base for the New York Mets. He held the same position with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2017 to '21 and was their infield coach as well. Cora was a bench coach with Miami in 2012 and the Chicago White Sox between 2007 and 2011 after serving as their third-base coach from 2004 to '06.

Cora, who went to college at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, where the winter meetings are being held, played 11 years in the majors with the Padres, White Sox, Seattle and Cleveland. He made the 1997 AL All-Star team with the Mariners.

Iapoce was promoted after managing the Tigers' top farm club at Triple-A Toledo this year. He was a senior hitting coordinator for Boston in 2022 and previously was the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. He oversaw the Cubs' minor league hitting program from 2013 to '15 while he was special assistant to the general manager.

Sienko spent the past two seasons as Detroit's field coordinator and director of coaching. He worked for the Dodgers as a catching coordinator and was an associate scout with Baltimore from 2007 to '15.

Zawadzki spent the past two seasons as hitting coordinator in Boston's player development system.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.