Dombrowski’s season-ending presser: Digest version

For a press conference that didn’t include a lot of firm answers, Dave Dombrowski touched on a ton of topics during his hour-long session with reporters. Of course, he has a ton of issues to address this offseason.

He did not have answers on their chances of re-signing Victor Martinez, Max Scherzer or Torii Hunter. And while Dombrowski said they have a way they’re leaning on Joakim Soria’s contract option, and strongly hinted at the direction, he did not have a firm answer on it.

“Really, that has to be done after, really it’s more appropriate after the World Series,” Dombrowski said. “Major League Baseball [doesn’t] want us making announcements at this time of the year.”

Even with that out, Dombrowski had a lot to say about this year’s team and their approach heading towards next year, enough that it’s probably easiest to just roll with the quotes by topic. Here’s Dombrowski …

  • On offseason priorities besides their own guys: “I guess I’d really probably say three things that would really kind of fit for us at this time. One is solidifying our center field situation … either a left-handed hitter to go with Rajai or somebody to be a full-time center fielder. Secondly, our bullpen to be improved, production from our bullpen. Some of that can come from internal. Thirdly, somehow we’d like to mix another left-handed hitter in there somewhere … and I don’t have a specific answer where that person is going to play at this time because I think a lot of that is determined upon conversations with clubs, who we may re-sign, who may be available in trades, so that’s kind of preliminary and I don’t really know which position that would be. It might even be an extra guy off the bench that would be more of a threat from the offensive perspective than we’ve had in the past that could step in there and do that for us.”
  • On window closing: “I don’t buy that, and I think there’s a couple of reasons. First of all, we have a good team and we have a good foundation coming back for sure. I don’t think there’s many clubs in baseball that would take their starting four going into their offseason over our starting four, that we know we have. When you look at our situation and you have Price and Sanchez and Verlander — who I think will bounce back, I think he’s really driven to bounce back, and that core injury probably bothered him a little bit more, particularly for preparation into the year — and you have Porcello, that’s a pretty good place to start with those four. For sure we have Miguel Cabrera back in the middle of our lineup and we have other guys too that will be good.”
  • On Alex Avila’s concussion concerns and future planning: “I don’t think it weighs on my mind from a planning process. We do have a young catcher, [James] McCann that we like a lot. I think he’s ready to be a big league catcher. Where that will all come into play, we’ll find out over the next time period. With the concussion issue, I’ve known Alex Avila since he’s about five years old, and so I worry about him as a human being when you see something like that happen. It’s a tough situation because as his father sits next to me or two seats over in a game, and he tries to be professional as he can — because he’s a very professional person and he doesn’t want to take it into personal situations — I know it has to be grinding him on the inside even though he would not acknowledge that at times. It’s difficult in that regard, but it’s more difficult on a human being basis to worry about somebody, and I’m thankful that nothing major has happened at this time. They say that he should be fine going into the next year.”
  • On Miguel Cabrera’s ankle: “He’s in a process where we’re checking him out, from a physical perspective. We’ve already done some of the work on that, and we’ll do some more this week, and then we’ll determine what we’re going to do beyond that. That’ll be more of a doctor’s decision.”
  • On Torii Hunter: “He’s had a very good two years for us. He’s outstanding — in fact, I don’t think I’ve been around a guy better on the team in the clubhouse, and Victor Martinez is a guy that fits into that category. There are only a couple of other guys that come to my mind that fit into the category, when I’ve been around them. Where that all fits right now, we still haven’t made final decisions. And, so we’ll just have to wait and see how our pieces fit together, as we go forward. He’s done a lot of good things for us, and again, a superb person, but we haven’t made that final decision.”
  • On Hunter possibly retiring: “He hasn’t told me that he’s going to retire. But we didn’t have any conversations at the end of the season and [I] haven’t spoken to him since.”
  • On Scherzer: “Well, we had thorough conversations before the season, and I don’t know that it’s all dictated by us at this point. I think we made ourselves pretty well known at that time where we stood. He’s a quality pitcher. We know that. He’s done a lot for our organization, but it’s apparent that his representative wanted him to test free agency. And that comes up in a couple weeks. … I think we probably made more of an effort to sign Max earlier in the year. So I don’t think your odds improve [from] what they were earlier. Why would they improve if we have one-on-one ability to speak with you, compared to having 29 other clubs speak with you? Only time will tell.”
  • On manager Brad Ausmus: “He’s our manager. He’s back. And it’s a situation where I think he did a fine job for us. It’s a situation where I would think — and I don’t want this sounding in a negative perspective — anybody comes back the second year, and in turn the fifth year, then you’re better than the first year. You would hope that would always be the case. …
    “I reflect on my own case. You’re ready to to do the job as a general manager, but you learned a lot from the first year. But he’s a good baseball man, he’s very knowledgable, he’s hard working, he communicates well, with the players, with the front office. He’s on top of situations, he tackles situations with the players. I think he’s really done a good job for us. I think he’s really good. I think he’s only going to get better.”
  • On shortstop Jose Iglesias: “First of all, the doctors tell me he’ll be fine and that he’ll be ready to go for spring training. He’s ramping up on a regular basis as far as any impact is concerned, and I saw video of him over a month ago where he was already playing catch and that kind of stuff. The doctors tell me he’ll be fine.”
  • On Iglesias as the regular shortstop: “I have to see him play day in and day out in the spring and see him handle the pounding, and then I’ll be real comfortable at that point. Brad and his staff haven’t had the advantage of having seen Iglesias play, but based on what we know of Iglesias, if he returns to the form of the past, which they tell me he will, he would be our regular shortstop. But I also have to protect ourselves, because even though we hear that from the doctors, until we see it for ourselves, we have to leave ourselves some hedge in case he’s not 100 percent.”
  • On Joe Nathan and the closer’s job: “I would think he starts as our closer going into [the season], but he has to perform up to the capabilities required of doing it.”
  • On Steven Moya maybe being the left-handed hitter they need: “Well, we love Steven Moya. He was the Player of the Year in the Eastern League, as you know. He was 35-home run, 100-plus hitting-type guy, and he plays solid defense and runs well for a big guy,too. He had a great year in the Eastern League, and right now is in the Arizona Fall League, but I don’t know if he’s going to be ready next year or not. You can hope and he may be ready, but I’m not really sure. His performance in the Arizona Fall League, then going to winter ball will be important for him. …
    “He has so much ability that you are kind of waiting for it to happen, for it to keep progressing so it can happen. But I’m not sitting here ready to tell you that for sure, he’s going to be one of our corner outfielder’s next year. May he be? Perhaps.”
  • On potentially shopping for Scherzer replacement: “I don’t know that. I think we have some young pitchers we feel pretty comfortable with at this point, but I’m not sure where all that would take place, but I feel comfortable staying internal with the four guys we would have at that point. But again, we haven’t made that decision.”
  • On potential internal competition for Scherzer’s spot: “I think we have enough pitching at this point with the four guys there that, if it comes down to that, I’d feel comfortable with that.”
  • On Andy Dirks: “Well, when he left he wasn’t 100 percent at the time. Now, when will he be 100 percent? I don’t know that answer quite at this time. We still have to make some decisions in that regard.”
  • On Bruce Rondon: “We’re encouraged that he would be ready. He’s been in Lakeland the whole time period rehabbing. He will go back to Venezuela at some point for a short time period, but right now all the progress is good. He feels good.”

7 Comments

I’m watching the KC BAL game. I would like to see Aoki in a Tigers’ Uni in 2015. I think it solve a few issues.

I have been watching the ALCS also . You are right getting AOKI would be sweet .
2015 Tigers will have more than a few issues . We however did not learn much from the DD presser did we ?

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