Tigers manager search: Kirk Gibson, Brad Ausmus candidates to replace Jim Leyland

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The next manager of the Tigers will inherit a team expected to compete for a World Series title.

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and San Diego Padres front office executive Brad Ausmus are two potential candidates to replace Jim Leyland as the Detroit Tigers manager, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.

Gibson played in Detroit for 12 seasons. He has served as the Diamondbacks manager for the past 3 1/2 years, compiling a 290-279 record. Arizona won the NL West crown during his first full season as manager in 2011, but have finished 81-81 the past two seasons.

The Diamondbacks have Gibson under contract in 2014, and the team holds club options for 2015 and 2016. Arizona is unlikely to let Gibson leave, according to Knboler, so the Tigers would have to send the Diamondbacks talent in return for the manager.

Ausmus had been a top candidate for a number of manager searches for the past two seasons, recently interviewing for the open Washington Nationals position. He has no major or minor league managing experience, but is considered a sharp baseball mind.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about what the team is looking for in their next manager, telling reporters during a press conference:

"Having managed is important, not necessarily at the major league level, not necessarily in the postseason. I will also say there have been some people who haven't manged who have done a solid job at the major league level."

Dombrowski also said that the team expects to compete for a World Series next season, and that they would start the interview process soon.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Tigers manager Jim Leyland steps down

Red Sox slam Tigers, advance to World Series

Neyer: These Tigers died like they lived | Scherzer on the block?

Cardinals close out Dodgers in 6 | More NLCS coverage

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