Pessimism of Price's agent doesn't sway Tigers

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
David Price

Boston – David Price’s agent Bo McKinnis went on MLB Network Radio Sunday and said "it's kind of hard to say I'm optimistic" the Tigers will keep his client and their ace beyond Friday's 4 p.m. trade deadline.

"When we got eight days from the deadline I had some folks ask me my thoughts then," McKinnis said. "I said I feel like if they (the Tigers) go 5-3 in those eight, that (president and general manager Dave) Dombrowski would hang on to him. ... Since I made that comment they've actually gone 2-2 and it's been against two last-place clubs (Seattle and Boston). 

"So it's kind of hard to say I'm optimistic about us staying.”

The Tigers, as of Sunday, had not decided whether or not they would look to trade Price before the deadline. Dombrowski and his staff are expected to meet early in the week in Tampa. 

But neither manager Brad Ausmus nor the players believe their fate is going to be decided by these next three games. 

“I don’t feel like it’s running out of time,” Ausmus said. “We are four games out of a wild-card spot. We’ve got what, two teams ahead of us? I really think because the Tigers have won the division and been in contention the past four years, people think it feels like we’re out of it.

“But we’re not. Four games is nothing. We play Minnesota two more series. We play Kansas City four more. We play Baltimore four more, we play Tampa (seven), Toronto (three) and Houston (three). We’re not out of it.”

Ausmus knows, though, the decision with Price is out of his hands. He and Dombrowski met after the media cleared the clubhouse before the game Sunday night.

“I don’t worry about it,” Ausmus said. “I wish we were in a position where we could say we definitely should go get someone. But I don’t think we’re in a position where we definitely need to sell.

“I mean, let’s not jump off the cliff here.”

Dombrowski, who is also in the last year of his contract with the Tigers, is taking his marching orders from the Ilitch family. There has been no indication from either that the Tigers were ready to quit on the 2015 season.

“Dave is going to do what’s best for the organization, that’s Dave’s role,” Ausmus said. “I am sure he will talk to me if that’s the route we’ve got to take. But I don’t think we are there.”

McKinnis told MLB radio that he, too, expects Dombrowski to wait until the end of the week before making a decision.

“If I was in his shoes that's what I would do,” McKinnis said. “This team was set up to win and it's just kind of hard to throw in the towel."

The Tigers and Price agreed mutually not to negotiate during the season. McKinnis said there were some preliminary talks before training camp, but in terms of substantive negotiations, that was it.

“To say we've had no talks would be incorrect,” McKinnis said. “We have had talks. It was just very evident that we were coming from different places in the very beginning. There's no doubt the Tigers would like to keep him. And I do believe they're going to make an effort to bring him back this winter. 

"Now that may or may not happen. But it was evident they wanted to keep him and we expressed a desire to stay, as well. But we were coming from two different positions from the beginning and the talks really never took off from there.” 

The Tigers offered Max Scherzer $144 million. He got $210 million from the Nationals. It’s not illogical to expect negotiations with Price to start at or very near that number. 

Twitter @cmccosky