Tony Mullane is at Toledo and stoutly denies that he had any intention of jumping Toledo to again sign with Lucas. He says Lucas telegraphed him, offering a two years' contract at $3,000 per year, first year's salary in advance, but that he declined. Manager Merton bears Mullane out in his denial, and he adds that the Toledo directors have every confidence in him. These two friends will be convinced along with the people of Toledo if much denying is done.-Cleveland Herald, April 10, 1884
I have two points.
First, given this article and what would happen in the future, it's safe to say that Lucas was still looking to upgrade his club's pitching. I think that Lucas had a plan as to how he was going to build his club and that plan revolved around signing Mullane and Dunlap. Losing Mullane was a serious setback.
My second point is really a question and one that, given my own limitations as a writer, I probably shouldn't bring up. But I will anyway. Is a stout denial a stronger repudiation of a statement than a regular denial? Can something, once negated, be negated more?