It’s the one thing that might add some excitement to a fairly sleepy hot-stove season, but it would also make the 2019 Detroit Tigers considerably worse.
And unless the Tigers lower their asking price, it might not happen at all.
As the 2018 Winter Meetings wrapped up last month at the Mandalay Bay convention center in Las Vegas, Nicholas Castellanos was still a Detroit Tiger. As the Christmas holidays passed and 2019 arrived, Castellanos was still a Tiger. When players start to arrive in Lakeland, Fla., in five weeks, it’s very likely he’ll still be a Tiger.
Over five full seasons in Detroit, Castellanos has blossomed into perhaps the team’s best hitter, even while he’s struggled defensively — initially at third base and now in right field. So why are the Tigers trying to trade one of their most prominent players and someone for whom they have no ready replacement?
The Tigers have lost 98 games in each of the last two seasons and there’s every expectation that they’ll finish with a similar record in 2019. Castellanos, who will make an estimated $11 million this season, might represent the difference between 67-95 and 64-98.