Central Links: Tigers, Avila, Votto, Epstein

The Rangers and Tigers are playing Game Six of the ALCS tonight, and Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News looks at how the 1999 trade that sent Juan Gonzalez from Texas to Detroit is still helping the Rangers today. Here are some links from baseball's two central divisions…

  • Regardless of how the rest of their season plays out, David Mayo of The Grand Rapids Press says the Tigers won't have many issues to address this winter. Second base and a left-handed starter figure to top their shopping list, and $23MM is coming off the books in the form of Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen.
  • Tigers assistant GM Al Avila has been mentioned as a GM candidate around the league, but ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says it's probably a long shot (all four Twitter links). "I'm very happy here,'' said Avila, who recently signed a four-year extension. "I have a great relationship with the ownership, and I've worked for [Dave Dombrowski] for 20 years.'' Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says Avila's new contract prohibits him from interviewing for a GM job (on Twitter).
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Reds don't have to rush into a trade involving Joey Votto. They can wait until free agents Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols sign, which will give them an idea of what an extension for Votto would cost. It would also shed some light on potential trade suitors. GM Walt Jocketty recently shot down all the trade talk, however.
  • While we wait for the Cubs and Red Sox to agree on compensation for Theo Epstein, Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times says the GM will have a much tougher time turning the Cubs around than he did Boston nine years ago.

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