He joins the Tigers one year after Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, his last game for the Houston Astros. The team fired the 46-year-old and MLB suspended him for the 2020 season following an investigation into Houston's sign-stealing scheme.
Hinch has a 570-452 record in seven years managing the Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros had a winning record in all five seasons with him at the helm, including three straight 100-win campaigns and the 2017 World Series.
The cheating scandal has marred the 2017 championship season, even though Hinch has expressed regret for his role in the controversy.
"The last year was the most difficult of my life," Hinch said in a statement, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "It gave me time to reflect, which was such a big part of this process. Everything that has transpired over the past year, personally and professionally, has put so much in perspective for me, and reinforced how important it is to do things with integrity and honesty."
He becomes the 39th manager in Tigers franchise history after interviewing for the gig Thursday. Previous manager Ron Gardenhire retired in September, citing health concerns.
The rebuilding Tigers posted a losing record (23-35) for the fourth consecutive year in 2020. The club now hopes Hinch can help guide its young core, similar to how Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and others were able to come into their own as major leaguers in Houston.
"Having a talented young core of players, dedicated leadership group, and passionate fan base was exactly what I was looking for in a team, and it's clear we have that here in Detroit," Hinch added. "It's time to start playing winning baseball, and I am confident this organization is positioned to make that happen."
Hinch was previously seen as a candidate for the Chicago White Sox job before the club hired Tony La Russa on Thursday, but he apparently never received an interview.