Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says the Tigers didn't make an official bid for Carl Crawford, who received a lucrative seven-year, $142 million deal last week from the Boston Red Sox:
"We have a wonderful owner — as fine as anybody in baseball," Dombrowski said. "Short of a couple of clubs, you can only have a couple of players who are making $20 million a year. We chose Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander to be our two key guys."
Ken Rosenthal reported at the end of October that the Tigers were "deeply interested" in Crawford, and who wouldn't be? Crawford's price tag, though, made it highly unlikely the Tigers would dole out enough cash to attract a career .781 OPS to Detroit. I imagine Dombrowski's statement (similar to the ones he made about Adam Dunn and Jayson Werth after they signed their respective deals) is to assure Tigers fans that he did not lose out in any bids to bring Crawford (or the other touted free agents) to Detroit, but he was merely disinterested.
Listen, the Tigers were interested in bringing all three of these players to Detroit, but there was no way, as Dombrowski said, that the Tigers would pay as much as it ultimately required to lure the players in. In the end, it's probably for the best, and maybe better to suggest they were never involved, but it'd be awfully naive for any Tigers fan to believe that the team was never involved or never even made a low-balling bid.