Unfinished Business: AL Central

We've covered the unfinished business for teams in the NL East, Central, and West as well as the AL West.  Now it's time to tackle the AL Central.

  • White Sox: Swingman or reliever.  A week ago, MLB.com's Scott Merkin opined that Chicago's biggest remaining need was a fourth or fifth starter type who could move to the bullpen when Jake Peavy returns.  Or, the Sox could add another reliever and put Chris Sale in the rotation to start the season.  GM Kenny Williams could theoretically clear some payroll space by moving Mark Teahen.  Another remaining offseason goal could be to lock up John Danks, who is entering his second arbitration year.
  • Indians: Veteran starting pitcher, third baseman, utility infielder, Shin-Soo Choo extension.  A Choo extension is unlikely, but MLB.com's Jordan Bastian suggests the Tribe will attempt to find bargains for the other needs.  Here's a look at the unsigned third base candidates.  Bartolo Colon is the type of pitcher on the radar to compete for a fifth starter job. 
  • Tigers: Starting pitcher, lefty reliever.  MLB.com's Kelly Thesier suggested a couple weeks ago that the Tigers could add a fifth starter/swingman type as well as a lefty reliever later in the offseason.  On a later conference call, GM Dave Dombrowski said he's comfortable with the team's pitching staff but remains open-minded.  They were linked to Brad Penny that same day.
  • Royals: Starting pitcher, reliever.  The Royals' 2011 rotation is looking barren at this point, and their bullpen is light too.  The additions of Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera imply that Dayton Moore likes a little veteran presence on his team, so I expect him to add some stopgaps to augment the pitching staff.  Things have been quiet on the rumor front since the Zack Greinke trade, however.
  • Twins: Starting pitcher, reliever(s), backup infielder, Jim Thome situation, Francisco Liriano extension.  The Twins will have to figure out a Plan B if they fail to re-sign Carl Pavano.  They lost Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, and likely others from the bullpen, so some kind of veteran addition seems likely.  We haven't read much on the Twins' desire to re-sign Thome since this December 7th report.  The Liriano idea is pure speculation on my part, but perhaps discussions will occur.

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