Nick Castellanos knows that he’s essentially a bat for hire at this point. Though he’s hoped to remain in the Tigers organization for his entire career, the team has made it clear that he’s not part of their long term plans, and has been actively trying to trade him since the end of last season – so far, with no luck.
“What am I going to do but go play baseball and try to help my teammates?” he said before Detroit’s first of a double-header against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Has this situation impacted his love of the game?
“I don’t really know how to answer that,” he said. “But it’s uneasy. You do everything you can to not let it affect you. If I am going to say it doesn’t affect me, I’d be lying. I’d be giving you a media answer. The only thing I can control is going out and handling my business for me and take each at-bat the best I can for me.
“And in doing that, I can help the team win.”
Castellanos once saw himself as a team leader, and though he now rarely stands at his locker to face the team media, he’s still happy to see others succeed.
“I love these guys, no doubt,” he said. “Even more so because I see how they are all still young in their major league journey. It’s hard to explain, but I understand them because I’ve been there. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of emotion for me because I want these guys to do good.”
“As soon as I’m between the lines, I love what I’m doing,” he continued. “Now, are there 25 or 30 guys showing up solely for the purpose of pursuing a World Series trophy? We’re going to say yes on the record, that’s the media answer.”
He knows that he’s getting paid a ton of money to play a game, but also understands that business is a part of this entire process.
“It’s just unfortunate that a children’s game like baseball, which is supposed to be played out of the love of sport and competition, is entangled with business,” he said. “As soon as you do that, you create a new monster.”