Central Links: Soriano, Cubs, White Sox, Mills, Royals

The Cardinals and Tigers have met three times in the World Series, tying them with Red Sox/Cardinals and Reds/Yankees as the seventh-most common matchup in Series history.  Could the two teams share their fourth date in the Fall Classic this season?  Here's the latest from both the AL and NL Central…

  • Alfonso Soriano wants to keep playing the outfield, so the Cubs may have trouble convincing him to waive his no-trade clause to join an AL team looking for a designated hitter, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune"I don't know what I could do the whole season [as a DH]. To me, playing DH is boring. You only play like half [the game]," Soriano said.  "I always play defense and offense, so I'd always have to work hard on my mind, 'Now I'm an offense guy only.' "
  • The Cubs are likely to pursue veterans looking to rebuild value on one- or two-year contracts, opines ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine as part of a chat with fans.  Levine cites Shaun Marcum, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jeff Francis, Francisco Liriano, Joe Blanton and Brandon McCarthy as types of pitchers that could interest the Cubs.  Levine also discusses several other Cubs and White Sox-related topics in the all-Chicago chat.
  • The Indians will not bring back hitting coach Bruce Fields or third base coach Steve Smith, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Smith had already said he was taking 2013 off, while Fields already has another job.  Former Astros manager Brad Mills is expected to join the Indians staff in some capacity; Mills worked on Terry Francona's coaching staffs in both Philadelphia and Boston.
  • Alcides Escobar appears to be the Royals' long-term answer at shortstop, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that the club has compiled lots of young depth at the position in the minor leagues.
  • From earlier today on MLBTR, I compiled some Cardinals notes, Tim Dierkes looked at the Brewers' arbitration-eligible players, and Ben Nicholson-Smith compiled a set of Tigers notes plus profiled the Cubs in the latest entry in our Offseason Outlook series.