Lloyd McClendon is the new manager of… the Toledo Mud Hens

Good news for Lloyd McClendon: Nearly two months after being dismissed by the Seattle Mariners, he has a new managerial gig. The relatively surprising news: Legendary Lloyd is going to be the manager for the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

We can’t necessarily call this bad news, right? I mean, McClendon will be a manager during the 2016 season. But managing in the minors as opposed to taking a coaching job on a major league staff is an unexpected development.

Just in case you need visual confirmation of this happening, here you go:

McClendon does have plenty of familiarity with the Tigers organization, of course, having coached on Detroit’s staff under Jim Leyland from 2006 to 2013. Additionally, Tigers VP of player development Dave Littlefield hired McClendon to be the Pittsburgh Pirates skipper when he was that team’s general manager. 

Another interesting aspect of McClendon returning to the Tigers organization is that Brad Ausmus is in the final year of his contract. (He has a club option for 2017.) 

Many expected Ausmus to be fired after last season when Detroit finished last in the AL Central with a 74-87 record. Having his successor one hour away in Toledo will raise plenty of questions about Ausmus’ job security and have an in-house option ready to go should GM Al Avila decide to make a change. It’s not like McClendon will have that many top prospects to monitor for the Tigers in Toledo anyway.