All has been rather quiet on the Detroit Tiger front after a busy first couple months of the off-season. So what’s been going on with our American League Central rivals?
Pretty much every team in the Central feels they’ve had rather solid off-seasons and with the Tigers retooling on the fly, optimism in the division is surging. So let’s see what’s been going on in each of our rival’s camp over the last week or so.
Let’s start with the team that finished just one game behind the Tigers in the AL Central and went to the postseason for the first time since 2007, the Indians.
Cleveland is often placed near the bottom in minor league rankings, and one of their diamonds in the rough is Trevor Bauer. The right-hander regressed in 2013, but workouts have encouraged folks in C-town.
“I saw some video of him the other day, and he was good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said during the Winter Meetings. “He’s making key adjustments. It’s exciting. Hopefully, we’ll see some results in Spring Training.”
Bauer was working on adjustments with his delivery from spring through fall last year, and it resulted in a setback in terms of statistics. The right-hander took on the changes, however, with the big picture in mind. He wanted to be more efficient immediately and in a position to remain healthy for many years on the mound. – Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
Bauer was the jewel for the Tribe in the three-team deal that involved Shin-Soo Choo going to Cincinnati. In two short stints in the majors, including last year with the Indians, he is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA. His minor league numbers are 19-11 with a 3.50 ERA.
Chicago White Sox
Over in Chicago, the White Sox are continuing their rebuilding efforts. Last month they traded Addison Reed to Arizona for Matt Davidson, a 22-year old third base prospect. Davidson may be best known for being the MVP of the 2013 All-Star Futures Game and, two days later, winning the AAA All-Star Home Run Derby.
But if ChiSox history is repeated, Davidson may be relegated to another year of starring in the minors.
While the White Sox have moved pitchers like Chris Sale and Reed to the major leagues quickly, they have shown in the recent past that they have no qualms about having their position player prospects stay in the minor leagues for more seasoning.
The Twins have actually opened up the wallet this off-season and signed some arms, including Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. One arm that most in baseball thought would be a perfect fit in Minnesota was Johan Santana. While many expected any deal that the two-time Cy Young winner would receive would be of the minor league variety, Santana has yet to sign on the dotted line anywhere.
This is not a huge development, but the fact the Minnesota Twins haven’t yet offered even a minor league deal to Johan Santana yet is pretty surprising. Especially since a possible Twins-Johan reunion is thought to be very low-risk/high-reward for the ball club.
I would expect the Twins to at least go through the motions and throw a contract offer Johan’s way. That being said, the Twins do not need to and should not attempt to overpay for an aging, recently injury-prone pitcher. – Collin Kottke, Puckett’s Pond
Santana’s best days were clearly in Minnesota. The lefty notched 93 wins in a Twins’ uniform from 2000 to 2007, winning the Cy Young in 2004 and 2006. He was dealt to the Mets prior to the 2008 season and, after a solid 16-7, 2.53 ERA season that year, he has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since.
Kansas City Royals
Despite being owed $14.5 Million with a $15 Million player option in 2015, Peavy could be the prefect fit for the rotation. The Red Sox may be willing to take on part of that salary just to free up the rotation spot. Depending on the type of prospect that the Royals are willing to part with could depend on how much of that salary the Red Sox pick up as well.
As another extreme fly ball pitcher, Jake Peavy appears to be perfectly suited for Kauffman Stadium. Even more than Guthrie and Vargas, Peavy lives by the fly ball. In the spacious grounds at Kauffman and with an excellent defense behind him, Peavy could get closer to the type of pitcher he was in San Diego. While his high strikeout days are likely behind him, Peavy could be worth the gamble, especially if the Red Sox agree to pay a portion of his salary next season. -David Hill, Kings of Kauffman
I think I speak for all Tigers’ fans when I say, please, please make this deal Kansas City. We’d love nothing more than to see Peavy back in the AL Central.