DETROIT -- Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski has spent part of his offseason explaining what the team saw in Robbie Ray, the left-handed pitcher who was the prospect acquired in the Doug Fister trade. Ray's inclusion on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list furthered the explanation, but Dombrowski offered up Saturday at TigerFest that Ray initially wasn't part of the early trade talks.
When the Tigers first brought up Ray, Dombrowski suggested, the Nationals initially declined.
"I wanted to get beat up quite a bit before," Dombrowski said sarcastically, noting the second-guessing he has taken on the deal. "But yes, they initially turned it down."
That fits with an opinion just after the trade from an American League talent evaluator, who suggested the Nationals would not have traded Ray for fellow Tigers starter Rick Porcello.