AL Central Notes: Verlander, Tigers, Twins, Indians

Last month, we heard that a number of teams were inquiring on Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello.  Detroit turned clubs away at the time because they were unsure if they would be able to retain Anibal Sanchez.  Now that they have Sanchez in the fold, however, Detroit could conceivably pull the trigger on a deal.  Could they also have a significant free agent pickup on the horizon?  More on that and other items out of the American League Central..

  • The Tigers have a history of making waves in January, but it looks like their biggest improvements will come from within this year, writes Jason Beck of MLB.com.  Even though the club has refused to comment on it, now would be the time for them to sign Justin Verlander to a contract extension as he has two years left on his current deal.  Detroit may also pick up a right-handed hitter to play left field in a mix with Andy Dirks, but it’s not expected to be a glamorous signing.
  • MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes that the Twins are also thinking in-house when it comes to their center field vacancy.  Minnesota has a hole to fill after moving both Denard Span and Ben Revere, but they plan to have Darin Mastroianni and prospects Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson compete for the spot.  At the same time, General Manager Terry Ryan won’t completely rule out signing a center fielder.
  • Indians GM Chris Antonetti is happy to have gotten a second chance to keep Russ Canzler, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.  Cleveland claimed the infielder earlier today from the Blue Jays just weeks after DFA-ing him.

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