Hinch, of course, had been managing the Houston Astros until the Astros fired him in the aftermath of Hinch and former Astros g.m. Jeff Luhnow receiving year-long suspensions as punishment for their involvement in the cheating scandal that the Astros were involved in in 2017. Hinch was suspended through the end of the World Series, making him now eligible to return.
While Luhnow is someone who I felt was unlikely to return to MLB, Hinch always seemed much more likely to be back. Hinch was not a ringleader of the ongoing sign-stealing program, did not approve of it, and reportedly twice broke the monitor being used to steal signs. He has expressed remorse for not having done more, and accepted the punishment that was levied. He has, unlike some others, handled this in a manner that indicates he’s taking responsibility for his actions — and, if you recall, he was the one person with the Astros who seemed to respond to the Brandon Taubman situation appropriately, as well.
Hinch had a brief managerial stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to his being hired to manage the Astros prior to the 2015 season, but his background otherwise has been in player development and evaluation, something the Tigers had indicated they wanted in a candidate. While there will be some criticism over this hire due to Hinch’s Astros past, this appears to be a very solid hire by Detroit.