AL Central Links: Tigers, Pena, Buehrle, Acta

The Tigers' magic number for clinching the AL Central is nine after Brandon Inge's walkoff blast against the Twins this afternoon.  Red-hot Detroit has won eight games in a row and the team looks like a sure bet to reach the postseason for the first time since 2006.

Let's round up the latest from the division…

  • Intra-divisional trades made been a big part of the Tigers' success, writes Lynn Henning for the Detroit NewsJhonny Peralta, Delmon Young and Wilson Betemit have all come to Detroit from AL Central rivals over the last two seasons.
  • Brayan Pena wants to keep playing for the Royals and is happy to remain a backup catcher, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
  • Following last night's game, Mark Buehrle told reporters that he plans to work out this offseason as if he'll be pitching next season, but he doesn't know if a contract will get worked out with the White Sox. You can watch the video on Buehrle will be a free agent for the first time in his career after the season, and he's hinted at retirement in the past.
  • Ozzie Guillen, for his part, thinks Buehrle will pitch in 2012.  "Oh, he's staying," Guillen tells ESPN Chicago.  "I talk to him every day and he never mentions [to] me anything about retirement. I think this kid's got a lot left to give [to] baseball. I think this kid can help a lot of big league ballclubs. Believe me, I don't think he's retiring."
  • In that same piece, Guillen also reiterated his commitment to the White Sox, saying he wishes to manage the club in 2012 and for "the next 20 years."
  • Joe Mauer talks to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (video link) about his season, his future behind the plate and the Twins' struggles.  Two days ago, more than 3,000 MLBTR voters said the Twins have been baseball's most disappointing team this season. 
  • "That's a good question for the off-season," said Indians GM Chris Antonetti when asked about manager Manny Acta's club option for 2013 by Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Acta will be in the final year of his three-year contract next season, and Antonetti made it clear that he's pleased with the job his manager has done.
  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that they're "thrilled" about the Delmon Young acquisition. "It's worked out pretty good so far, and when he steps in that batter's box he's a man," said Leyland. "He's going to get his rips and has a pretty good idea how to hit and what pitchers do."

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

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