Tigers cut ties with GM Dave Dombrowski, promote Al Avila

The Detroit Tigers have relieved General Dave Dombrowski of his duties, according to Major League Baseball.

The MLB reported the move at 4:10 P.M. Tuesday and said assistant GM Al Avila has been promoted to Executive VP of Baseball Operations and GM.

At a press conference Tuesday, Al Avila said he was offered the job by owner Mike Ilitch Saturday. He also said that Ilitch will continue to allow the team to pursue free agents.

Avila said Manager Brad Ausmus is the manager for the rest of the year and he "has all the confidence in the world in him."

"This is Mr. Ilitch's decision, I will report to him," Avila said. "I will report to him. He will continue trying to make this team a winner."

Avila also said that Ilitch was "on board" with the flurry of deadline trades the Tigers made last week.

He also talked about the unique situation of being the father of catcher Alex Avila's father and quipped that it will not be like little league where the manager's son "bats fourth."

The Tigers confirmed the move with owner Mike Ilitch releasing this statement:

"I would like to thank Dave Dombrowski for his 14 years of service," said Ilitch. "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."

The move to release Dombrowski comes just a few days after the Tigers traded away David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and Joakim Soria for prospects to the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively.

Avila also released a statement after the announcement:

"I'm very excited for this opportunity, and honored and grateful to Mr. Ilitch for having the faith and trust in me to run the ballclub in our continuing pursuit of a World Series championship," said Avila. "After 24 years in professional baseball and 14 with the Detroit Tigers, I believe I'm uniquely qualified to be successful in this role in leading this organization. We're confident we can make a strong push to win this year, and that we have the foundation in place to win next year and for years to come."  

The Tigers have called a press conference at 5:00 P.M. 

Dombrowski was named General Manger in April 2002. 

In his time as GM, Dombrowski turned around the struggling franchise. He traded for Miguel Cabrera and David Price, among others. The Tigers have won the last four American League Central Championships but find themselves in third place behind the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins.

In 2003, the Tigers were the worst team in the league. Three years later, with Dombrowski making the moves, they were in the World Series. They lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. In 2012, they returned to the World Series but were swept in four by the San Francisco Giants.

This is a breaking news situation. We'll bring you more information as it comes in to our newsroom.

An earlier version of this story spelled Dombrowski incorrectly. FOX 2 regrets the error.