As the 2019 season went along, it seemed inevitable that the Detroit Tigers, who were/are in the middle of a complete rebuild, would deal at least a couple of players before the MLB Trade Deadline.
One of those players was Nicholas Castellanos.
Castellanos, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs for prospects, was batting .273 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs in 100 games with the Tigers at the time of the trade.
Since being traded to the Cubs, Castellanos has been one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball. In 24 games with Chicago, Nicholas is batting a whopping .370 with nine home runs and 14 RBIs while posting an OPS of 1.100.
Castellanos knows complete rebuilds seem to be the trend these days for teams who are not competing for the playoffs but he does not buy-in to how some teams are going about it.
The former Tiger was recently interviewed and he believes that too much is put into the analytics and not enough value is being given to what kind of leader a player is in the clubhouse.
Castellanos believes the biggest mistake the Detroit Tigers made has to do with exactly that.
From Detroit Free Press:
“The biggest mistake the Tigers made was not signing Torii Hunter back,’’ said Castellanos, whose former teammate left for the Minnesota Twins after the 2014 season. The Tigers, after four consecutive division titles, have never reached the playoffs again.
“Regardless what his analytical performance said,’’ Castellanos said, “you can’t value the centerpiece in the clubhouse. Someone with the same WAR is not going to provide the same thing.
“And whoever says it is the same has not played, endured, been in a clubhouse, or ridden the ebbs and flows of the game.’’
Castellanos points out that not re-signing Torri Hunter was the Tigers biggest mistake, but I would argue that losing a guy like Nicholas could be just as big a blow moving forward.