The Tigers have their new manager.

It’s Brad Ausmus, the long-time catcher who was introduced Sunday at Comerica Park as the successor to the retired Jim Leyland. Ausmus signed a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth season.

This is the first big-league managerial gig for Ausmus, 44, who has spent the last few seasons as a special adviser in the San Diego Padres front office.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for me,” Ausmus said. “I am well aware you don’t generally get dropped into a situation like I will this coming season.”

He takes over a Tigers team that has made the postseason three consecutive years.

“After thorough research, information-gathering, and interviews by some people that helped me,” said Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski, “and many conversations in baseball, we feel that we’ve made a tremendous selection to guide us.”

Shortly before 5 p.m., Ausmus slipped on his No. 7 Tigers jersey.

Owner Mike Ilitch did not attend the press conference.

“Thanks to Mr. Ilitch and the Ilitch family for giving me this opportunity,” Ausmus said.

The Tigers interviewed at least four candidates to replace Leyland, including hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, Los Angeles Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach and Padres bench coach Rick Renteria. Dombrowski had plans to interview Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, a Michigan alum, but Larkin passed on the opportunity.