AL Central Notes: Tigers, Twins, Hernandez, Dunn

On this date in 1997, the Tigers drafted Matt Anderson first overall (under management that has since been replaced). The flame-throwing right-hander briefly became the Tigers' closer, but didn't match the success of others in his draft class like J.D. Drew, Troy Glaus, Vernon Wells and Lance Berkman. Anderson attempted a comeback with the Phillies this year, but has since been released. Here's the latest from around the AL Central…

  • David Mayo of The Grand Rapids Press defends Tigers manager Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski, saying the Tigers are annual contenders and “give the Michigan summer a sporting purpose.”
  • Yes, the Twins are just 18-37, but GM Bill Smith tells John Shipley of the Pioneer Press that it's not too late for a comeback. Smith says better health and more home games and intra-divisional series could get the Twins back into contention. Smith also noted that his re-worked bullpen "hasn't worked" and expressed confidence in Alexi Casilla's skills. 
  • The Royals have been linked to international prospect Elier Hernandez, according to Jorge Arangure Jr. of (on Twitter). The outfielder is likely to command a $2-3MM bonus once he's eligible to sign after July 2nd. 
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests that Adam Dunn's struggles and $56MM contract with the White Sox could affect the way American League teams build their rosters going forward. Red Sox DH David Ortiz tells Morosi that DHing is harder than it seems (for more on Ortiz's market value, click here).

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