Updated Oct 21, 2013 - 11:24 am
CBSSports.com: Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson could be a candidate with Detroit Tigers
Leyland, who most recently guided the Tigers to an appearance in the 2013 American League Championship Series, also led Detroit to two World Series trips and three American League Central titles from 2006-13.
Following Leyland's announcement, names of potential candidates almost immediately began to emerge, and not surprisingly a local skipper found himself right in the middle of the speculation.
According to CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus have already been linked to the vacancy in Motown.
Kirk Gibson helped bring the Tigers their last World Series title.
Could he also bring them the next one?
Gibson is on the Tigers' list of possible successors to Jim Leyland, sources say. But Gibson remains under contract with the Diamondbacks, who invited him back after a disappointing 81-81 season and are unlikely to allow him to leave for Detroit.
Gibson, who succeeded A.J. Hinch as Arizona's manager on July 1, 2010, is 290-279 in three-plus seasons with the D-backs.
During Gibson's tenure, the D-backs have won one National League West title and made one trip to the postseason -- both occurring in 2011.
The link between Gibson and the Tigers makes perfect sense, as the 56-year-old was selected by Detroit in the first round of the 1978 MLB Draft. Gibson played nine seasons with the Tigers from 1979-1987, winning a World Series title with the club in 1984.
In addition to spending a majority of his playing career in Detroit, the Michigan native served as the team's bench coach under Alan Trammell from 2003-05 and hitting coach for the second half of the 2005 season.
The 2011 National League Manager of the Year is, however, under contract with the D-backs through the 2014 season, and as CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman noted, the team is unlikely to let him out of the final year of his deal.
D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall reiterated those sentiments, telling FoxSportsArizona.com's Jack MacGruder that "Kirk Gibson is where he wants to be, and he is where we want him to be."
With that said, USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale tweeted Monday morning that the D-backs would likely let Gibson interview for the Tigers' job if the team should request permission.
Dave Dulberg, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- ESPN analyst Kurkjian: Arizona Diamondbacks 'not doing anything right'
- D-backs' Derrick Hall: Losses mounting because players are pressing
- D-backs prospect Archie Bradley struggles in latest start
- D-backs president: 'It's far too early to say' Gibson and Towers are in jeopardy of losing jobs
- D-backs swept by Mets; end winless homestand
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB Insider - Thursday April 17Tim Kurkjian talks about the Diamondbacks' tough start to the season.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday April 17Bickley blasts Kevin Towers' philosophy and the need for an analytics GM.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday April 17Is it too early to make a change?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday April 16Can the D-backs weather the storm?
- Jay Franklin, Archie Bradley's agent - Tuesday April 15Archie Bradley's agent clarifies his comments he made while talking to Ken Rosenthal.
- Mike Bolsinger, D-backs pitcher - Tuesday April 15D-backs pitcher Mike Bolsinger talks about his MLB debut.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday April 15D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talks about the team's pitching woes.