Central Notes: Ventura, Ordonez, Sizemore, Epstein

If the Tigers win the ALCS, we could see the first all-Central World Series since St. Louis topped Detroit five years ago.  Today's AL and NL Central links…

  • The White Sox announced they'll introduce new manager Robin Ventura tomorrow at an 11am central time press conference.  ESPNChicago's Doug Padilla reported today that Mark Parent will come aboard as Ventura's bench coach and Joe McEwing will serve as the third base coach.  Jeff Manto is ahead of Tim Laker in terms of hitting coach candidates, Padilla reports.
  • The Tigers' Magglio Ordonez re-fractured his ankle Saturday, reported MLB.com's Jason Beck.  The right fielder will see specialists after returning to Detroit, tweets Tom Gage of the Detroit News.  Ordonez, 38 in January, is eligible for free agency this winter.
  • "It seems highly unlikely" that the Indians will exercise their $8.5MM club option on center fielder Grady Sizemore, opines MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  The Indians revealed Tuesday that Sizemore had a right knee arthroscopy but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.  Should the 29-year-old reach free agency, I'd rank him around 30th on my top 50 list.
  • A rival executive talked to ESPN's Buster Olney on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and the Cubs"If he met with the Cubs, what it means is that if he gets the offer he wants, he's gone [to Chicago]."  Earlier today, however, SI's Jon Heyman wrote that most baseball insiders "believe it's more likely than not [Epstein will] remain in Boston, at least for now."
  • Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez reflected on this summer's trade, telling Mike Puma of the New York Post, "I'm winning, and [the Mets] needed pretty much to get rid of me."  K-Rod told Puma he holds no grudge toward the Mets.
  • Of the 11 Pirates players eligible for arbitration this winter, only Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens, Charlie Morton, and Evan Meek are absolutely certain to be tendered contracts, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  She notes that "if the Pirates do not intend to tender a contract to someone on the list, there is a good chance that player will be removed in November so that the Pirates can open up roster spots to protect players from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft."  Click here for MLBTR's projected salaries for the Pirates' arbitration group. 
  • The chances of lefty Paul Maholm returning to the Pirates next year are less than 50-50, in the opinion of Langosch.  I'd say Maholm ranks toward the back end of the top ten free agent starters this winter.
  • Check out my offseason outlooks for the Cubs and Astros.