Soon after Javier Báez signed the most important deal of his life, he and José Berríos ventured to the Dominican Republic to celebrate.

It was a planned trip at the dawn of MLB’s lockout. Berríos, the right-handed pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, is from the same neighborhood as Báez in Puerto Rico. They are married to sisters and still live close to each other in the offseason.

Báez keeps a small circle, and few know him better than Berríos. The free agency process was difficult for Báez, Berríos said last weekend while he was in town with the Blue Jays. But the end result was exciting.

“I’m proud of him, being able to sign a contract like that and also playing for the city,” Berríos said. “I came (to Detroit) a lot with the Twins and I know how this city wants to be better. Coming here and having a chance to make that happen has to be good for him.”

That was always the blueprint, for Báez to become the Tigers’ shortstop and for so much more to blossom from there. The Tigers gave him six years and $140 million (with an opt-out after Year 2) to be the biggest piece so far in their theoretical rise to contention. There were some doubts on the market about Báez’s long-term value, and he became a Tiger largely because Detroit was willing to offer six years, to bet on Báez for the long term.

In an introductory video call, Báez talked about bringing magic to Detroit. He exuded energy in spring training, then catered to the crowd after driving in the winning run on Opening Day.

And here we are now.

The Tigers clubhouse was closed for about 30 minutes after Wednesday’s 13-0 loss to the White Sox. The Tigers used three position players to pitch. They dropped to 24-38. They rank last in virtually every meaningful offensive category. Tensions have been brewing for some time, and the players finally had a closed-door meeting to hash it all out.