Dombrowski leaves LF, rotation plans open
Dave Dombrowski called the corner outfield addition the top priority the Tigers had this winter. He did not say it was the last. Not by a long shot.
Actually, he didn’t say much about the rest of the Tigers’ offseason plans. But within his guarded remarks, it was clear the Tigers aren’t done with their offseason dealings.
“I’d say this was our No. 1 priority, finding a bat for the corner outfield,” Dombrowski said. “We’ll see where other things take us. But if we end up with this being our major move of the winter, I would be very happy.”
If they end up with Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly rounding out their rotation, Dombrowski said, “we’d be fine with that.”
That was about all he was willing to say on Sanchez’s situation, other than to emphasize that the outfield was the main offseason priority. But if you remember a couple offseasons ago, he became similarly mum on Magglio Ordonez’s situation as the offseason wore on, before they eventually re-signed him in mid-December.
Dombrowski gave a little more information on left field now that Torii Hunter takes over in right:
“I don’t really know which way we’ll take that,” he said. “We have our own internal debates if [Andy] Dirks is an everyday player. He hit right-handed pitching very well last year, which is the majority of pitching you face. However, we’re also in a spot with the young guys, [Nick] Castellanos and [Avisail] Garcia, you don’t want them to come in here and play 40 games versus left-handed pitching.
“So, as we’ve told both of those guys how we would approach something like that, ‘Hey, it’s up to you. If you win the job in spring training, go win it, but you’re going to have to get a lot of playing time. So where does that leave us if they don’t? Well, we’ll just wait to see what happens as time goes on there, see if we add somebody.”
If you believe that leaves the door open for another move, you’d be right. And it’s not exactly just cracked open.
“My instinct,” Dombrowski continued, “is that we would add somebody that could hit from the right-hand side that, if those guys don’t make it, could go out there and play with Dirks. But we’ll wait and see.”
Dombrowski’s approach on the bullpen was much the same as it was a few weeks ago, sticking to the approach of letting Bruce Rondon compete for the job with other current relievers. He also didn’t rule out a move there, either.