AL Central Notes: Hafner, Verlander, Cabrera

Every AL Central team except the Royals has won the division at least once since 2007. Here are the latest AL Central links as the Tigers look to win back-to-back division titles for the first time since they won the 1934-35 pennants…

  • The Indians are hoping for modest production from Travis Hafner in 2012, which will probably be his final season with the Indians, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. "If Travis can be a productive major-league hitter this year, we'll be happy," GM Chris Antonetti said.
  • Justin Verlander and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports discussed the right-hander's newfound celebrity in a piece that's well worth reading. Verlander makes it clear that he loves Detroit, but admitted he’s thought about what playing in a bigger market would be like. “It would be fun, but hopefully I help turn Detroit into a major market,” Verlander said. “Other teams are major markets not just because of their fan base but because of the national fan base.”
  • No talks about a new contract for Verlander have taken place, but he’s “open for conversation” with the Tigers. Verlander, who’s under team control through 2014, is intrigued by free agency.
  • In this FOX Sports video, Morosi said the Tigers are realistic about Miguel Cabrera's limitations as a defender at third base, and seem committed to making the arrangement work.
  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland recently joined Evan & Phillips on Sirius XM Radio and said he's willing to accept that Cabrera won't get to as many balls as Brandon Inge might.

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