The Mud Hens, the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate, saw longtime manager Larry Parrish retire after this past season.
"It's an honor to come back to the Detroit Tigers organization," McClendon said in a statement. "I've been to Fifth Third Field many times in the past. It's a wonderful ballpark and the fans are outstanding. It should be a very enjoyable summer for us."
A former hitting coach with the Tigers, McClendon was fired by the Mariners after a disappointing second season in which the team finished 76-86.