Interesting interview with Dombrowski. He seems to be saying that ownership really didn't have the appetite for spending, or, perhaps, any clue that the team still wasn't really good enough but they also didn't want to lose JT. Sounds like we still came pretty close to watching a team with no Didi, and Velasquez and Howard starting. Essentially he turned the argument into either, sign JT and do more, or don't even bother signing JT.
“I wasn’t really hired with any promises for this year,” he said. “We were going to try to build a really good ballclub in the future. We didn’t think we were a player away. So, let’s not do anything that’s foolhardy, like, trade [2020 first-round pick Mick] Abel for a guy that’s got one year left. ‘Hey, no problem. I get it.’
“I know [owners John Middleton and the Buck family] wanted to sign J.T. I mean, everybody wanted to sign J.T. I said, ‘We could sign J.T. back, but I don’t think we have a chance. I don't think we have a club to win. I mean, he’s a really good player, but I think we have too many other holes. If you want to get better, then we need to do other things.’ And only over time did they say, ‘You know what? Let’s do those other things.’ [Middleton] said, ‘Do it, go ahead and keep doing it.’ So, it changed. I didn’t know it would change. But I also know that he didn’t want to lose. Ownership, period, doesn’t want to lose.”