Though several notable Indians players as have been the subject of trade rumors this winter, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian doesn't believe the Tribe is "on the verge of a complete overhaul." Bastian thinks that Cleveland could trade "one or two" current stars (such as Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, Chris Perez or Carlos Santana) but the fact that the Indians have been looking at veterans like Kevin Youkilis and Shane Victorino indicates that the club doesn't plan to be out of contention for long.
A few items from both the NL and AL Central…
- In his introductory press conference as a Tiger (reported on by MLB.com's Jason Beck), Torii Hunter said he was "scouting clubs" during last season in case the Angels didn't bring him back. The Tigers were his top choice, to the extent that he had his agent Larry Reynolds call Detroit VP John Westhoff to express his interest. "Dave [Dombrowski] and I got this deal done in less than an hour," Reynolds said. "That's unheard of in our business."
- Also from Beck, Dombrowski hinted that the Tigers were still looking for a right-handed hitting left fielder who could platoon with Andy Dirks.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy attended the Brewers' annual medical symposium and explored how the team has been using medical data to keep their pitchers healthy and to look out for warning signs when acquiring pitchers. Over the last decade, the White Sox and Brewers have had the fewest number of days spent on the DL by their pitchers.
- The Brewers are looking for starting and relief pitching but no deals are happening soon, assistant GM Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Ash noted that the three-year deals given to Brandon League and Jeremy Affeldt raised the prices on the relief market: "That kind of pushed it up a little bit….I wouldn't say it's harder now; I'd say more expensive."
- The Cardinals are also looking for bullpen help, and GM John Mozeliak told media (including including MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch) that the Cards may look to add a left-handed reliever in a trade given the rising cost of relief pitching. Mozeliak also discussed such roster topics as extensions, non-tenders, the upcoming Rule 5 draft and the Cards' search for shortstop depth.