The Tigers promoted assistant general manager Al Avila to the role of executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager. The team will not have a president of baseball operations, as Avila will report directly to owner Mike Ilitch.
"I would like to thank Dave Dombrowski for his 14 years of service," said Ilitch in the press release. "Together we've enjoyed some success, but we're still in aggressive pursuit of our ultimate goal: to bring a World Series title to Detroit and Michigan. I've decided to release Dave from his contract in order to afford him the time to pursue other career opportunities. I feel this is the right time for the Tigers to move forward under new leadership."
Dombrowski's contract was up following the season, and as one of the best executives in baseball, he will surely get an opportunity with another team to be a team president. The Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox have been already rumored as possible destinations for Dombrowski.
As for Avila, he has been working in baseball since joining the Marlins in June 1992 as the assistant director of Latin America options, helping the team sign Livan Hernandez and Miguel Cabrera during his tenure with Miami, which he moved all the way up the ranks to vice president and assistant GM in July 2001.
Avila was given the same position of assistant general manager and vice president by the Tigers on April 15, 2002. With his promotion, Avila becomes the first Cuban-born general manager in baseball history.
Avila is part of a deep-rooted baseball family. His father, Ralph Avila, was the vice president of the Dodgers and is currently the senior scouting advisor for the team. His son, Alex Avila, currently catches for the Tigers.