Ever since 2017, there have been rumors that Detroit Tigers‘ outfielder Nicholas Castellanos was/is on the trade block.
On Friday, Castellanos spoke to the media about the most recent rumors and he certainly did not hold back, especially when it comes to whether or not he believes he is part of the Tigers' future plan.
Quotes from 97.1 The Ticket:
“It’s about the (players) who aren’t here yet. That’s the wave that I guess they're trying to catch, the young guys that they have, the position players and pitchers down (in the minors), with the mix of controllable pieces that are at the big-league level at this point in time. That’s their wave that they’re going to try to catch to try and be competitive. I think somebody who has three or four months left until free agency doesn’t really fit that image too well,” Castellanos said.
Castellanos added that he is open to contract talks but the Tigers have not shown interested in getting any type of deal done.
“Obviously I've been open to any extension talks, but that hasn’t happened. They said that I turned down one in the (2017-18) offseason, but that wasn’t true. I’ve also had conversations with Al where he says, ‘It doesn’t really make sense where we are right now in this process of a rebuild to be handing out extensions.' This was back at the end of last season,” Castellanos said. “I don’t have a college education, but I can pick up the pieces here and put a puzzle together.
“Not saying that this is 100 percent what it's going to be, but if I'm a gambling man I don’t see them offering me an extension at this point in time. … I’m not a GM. I’m not out here begging for an extension. I'm not out here saying that what they're doing is wrong. Nothing. That’s their job. They have to do it the best way that they see fit with the people that they see fit.”
Prior to the start of the season, the Tigers asked Castellanos, who has been moved all over the field since coming to the Tigers' organization, to give first base a shot. Though Nicholas has always obliged when asked to play another position, this time, he tried to make a deal.
“I told them, ‘If you offer me an extension, if you show me that I am a piece of the future, I’ll play first. I’ll even throw bullpens for you. But give me that security,'” Castellanos said.
Castellanos then defended why he did what he did.
“The big knock on me is defense obviously. I was drafted as an amateur shortstop, I played third base for a year in the minors, then I had to play right field in Double-A, left field in Triple-A. Made my debut (in 2013) as a left fielder and then thrown back at third on a team that was expected to win the World Series. It’s like, when did they ever really find me, or when did I find myself in a position where I can focus on getting really comfortable in one spot and not always having to learn something new while still producing and performing?
“So last year when obviously there was no commitment toward me, I chose to stick to right and try to be as good as I can in one spot. … That was the first time where I said no. I’ve said yes a lot. I’ve said yes a lot. Last year I was just like, ‘No, not right now. I’m going to continue on taking my reps in right field and just be as best I can out there.'”
Castellanos made it pretty clear that he loves the Tigers and loves the fans but he also knows he always had to have a Plan B.
“Here’s the thing,” Castellanos said. “I love this organization. It's like a college (for me), so to speak. I didn't go to college. I got drafted and off I went to the minor leagues. I grew up in this organization. I've turned from an 18-year-old teenager to a man in this organization. I’ve become a father in this organization. I've had troubles on the field and off the field in this organization, in front of this fan base. I have family here in Michigan. I love Detroit, I love the Tigers.
“But like I said at (Tiger Fest) two years ago, you don’t always get Plan A. You work your ass off for Plan A, but at the end of the day whatever you're dealt, you have to make the most of it.”