Gardenhire's predecessor, Brad Ausmus, was given the reins to a star-studded team of veterans after wowing the Tigers' front office, including then-general manager Dave Dombrowski, with a superlative interview back in 2013. He was sacked after the 2014 season.
The Twins finished 70-92 in Gardenhire's final season, making him just the fourth manager in the game's history to preside over at least four straight 90-loss seasons with the same team, joining Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics (nine), Zach Taylor of the St. Louis Browns (four) and Kelly (four). He managed the Twins from 2002-14, going 1,068-1,039.
Toronto stock market lower as Dow Jones cruises past 23000 record
Investors are also awaiting the Fed's issue of the Beige Book, a periodic snapshot on the health of the US economy. The blue-chip index had briefly surpassed the milestone on Tuesday but closed 3 points short of the record level.
Gardenhire spent this past season as the Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach under manager Torey Lovullo. He missed about a month early in the season after undergoing surgery to remove his cancerous prostate.
The decision was made after Gardenhire impressed general manager Al Avila in an interview at Comerica Park on Tuesday. Zimmerman has $74 million in the last three years of the deal while the Tigers owe Cabrera $184 million in the last six seasons.
Ausmus led Detroit to an American League Central Division title in his first season as the Tigers manager in 2014, but the team has not returned to the postseason since.