Dombrowski on Castillo: We weren’t a finalist
Dave Dombrowski’s conversation with reporters on Rusney Castillo late Friday afternoon echoed his comments to MLB Network Radio earlier in the day. They also elaborated a bit.
First, they did not expect Castillo to contribute to their playoff chase.
“He hadn’t played for over a year, the signing process here, getting him ready to play, we never felt that he would be in a position to play this year,” Dombrowski said. “We actually offered him a 2015 contract to start off.”
Second, they didn’t get to the point where they had any reason to believe they were in it at the end.
“We made him a substantial offer, in our opinion, about a week ago,” Dombrowski said. “They wanted our best offer right off the bat. We made them a best offer at that point. It was, without getting into specifics, in somewhat of a rumored area of various offers that were out there.
“They called us back this past Monday and told us that we were out, that we were not even in the neighborhood of clubs that were going to sign him, that they had substantial offers better than ours. We felt at that time that we were out, but we did not say anything because we’ve never dealt with his agents before and we didn’t know if they’d ever come back to us and say that we’ve changed our minds. They never did, so we never had any conversations since Monday. So all of the rumors that we were one of the finalists, we were not one of the finalists to my knowledge.”
Castillo is represented by agents at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports. The agency also represents Robinson Cano.
“Some guys you know tell you you’re out, and you’re out. Other people tell you you’re out, and you’re really not out,” Dombrowski said. “It just really is a matter of knowing people. But we haven’t had any conversations all week long on this situation.”
That, he said, made for interesting reading as the week unfolded and Tigers officials kept reading they were one of the finalists. They didn’t think they were, but they weren’t sure.
“They told us we were out,” Dombrowski said, “and then I kept reading the rumors that kept saying we were in it. And I kept seeing the dollar amounts and it was like, well, we’re not very far off that dollar amount, so maybe we’re in this thing and we don’t know we’re in this thing. But nobody called us back. I mean, I kept waiting for a phone call that somebody might say, ‘Hey, we changed our mind. Do you want to get back in it?’ But they never did. …
“I called [team owner Mike Ilitch] on Monday to tell him we were out of it. We’ve gone as high as we think we want to go, and we’ve been told we’re out of it. I wouldn’t have made that phone call unless I knew.”
Dombrowski also said they were interested in Castillo before they traded Austin Jackson. Castillo’s showcase workout for teams, for one, took place five days before Jackson went to Seattle in the David Price today, and the Tigers had a handful of representatives there.
“We were involved with this even before we had made a move in center field,” he said. “You never have enough good players. We had discussed this before we made the trade.”