Follow-up notes from Tigers draft
How late did the Tigers go in their draft talks Monday night? According to scouting director David Chadd, “It went as far as 11:55.”
In other words, they wrapped up things with five minutes to go. That was mainly dotting i’s and crossing t’s on sixth-rounder Daniel Fields, who agreed to turn pro with only a couple hours to go. The fact that it took that long to wrap up everything means the Tigers, while hoping Fields would join them, weren’t all that sure he would.
“Really, truly, it was 50-50 right up until the end,” Chadd said.
Fields’ dad, Bruce Fields, talked about the decision on a Tigers conference call this morning.
“Ultimately, we left the decision up to him,” Fields said. “At the very beginning, and I’ll be honest and frank, we wanted him to go to school, because we know how tough the road can be personally, but we left the decision up to him. i wanted him to make a decision he could live with. Now, it becomes Team Daniel.”
Likewise, first-rounder Jacob Turner talked about making his decision. Considering the Tigers made the move to designate Chris Lambert’s contract for assignment before the Mud Hens’ game Monday night, his negotiation didn’t go quite so late.
“Obviously, the whole time i was pretty committed to going to school, and North Carolina is a great school,” Turner said. “But in the end, the Tigers showed their commitment to me, and that they really have a commitment to me in their future plans.”
For Oliver, returning to Oklahoma State didn’t sound like quite as much of a consideration.
“That was an option,” Oliver said, “but overall, I weighed it out with my dad and my advisers, and I thought it was a better decision to start my pro career at this time.”
And again, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski explained his organizational philosophy behind drafting regardless of signability and going above slot.
“We believed all along that we are trying to take the best players we possibly can in the draft,” Dombrowski said. “We always sit down and discuss what the signability of the players may be. And Mr. [Ilitch] is always in the loop. But it’s a situation whwere we have always followed trying to take the best players we possibly can. We’re aggressive in this area.”