Jim Leyland will step down as Tigers manager. This comes from the very plugged in Ken Rosenthal, who adds that the team has scheduled a press conference for 11:30 this morning.
UPDATE: Leyland will be accepting another position in the Tigers front office.
Between Detroit, Cincinnati, and Washington, there are now three plum managerial jobs available. It is rare that so many teams in "win now" mode have openings, making this a good time to be looking for a job.
Leyland has managed the Tigers since 2006. During that time they have averaging 87 wins a season, reached the ALCS four times (including the last three years) and played in the World Series twice (2006, 2012). Leyland previously managed the Pirates, Marlins, and Rockies, reaching the NLCS three times with Pittsburgh and winning the 1997 World Series with Florida (which means he's part of select company in terms of skipper who've tormented the Indians). Leyland's 1769 career wins rank him 15th all-time among managers, and he was named Manager of the Year in 1990, 1992, and 2006, making him one of just five men to win it in both leagues.
Leyland stepping down does little to change the math in the American League Central, the Indians still find themselves with quite a bit less talent than the Tigers. With players like Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Victor Martinez all on the roster, Detroit is going to have a hard time being anything but a poor base running and defensive team, but those same players mean they'll keep scoring a lot of runs, while Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, and Max Scherzer (for another year at least) ensure they'll be a great pitching team too. A major identify change is unlikely, but it will be interesting to see who they hire to replace Leyland, and what the new manager brings to the table.
Leyland is 68 years old, and while it's hard to imagine him leaving baseball entirely, it also seems unlikely he'd take over a different team at this point. His career win total, Manager of the Year Awards, 8 postseason appearances, and World Series ring make Leyland a strong candidate for eventual induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame.