AL Central Notes: Dombrowski, Gasparini, Despaigne

In what might be the most eclectic collection of names to ever headline a division notes post, here's the latest from the AL Central…

  • Despite the Tigers' late-game problems this season, Dave Dombrowski has no regrets over not acquiring a proven closer last winter, the general manager tells MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. "We didn't feel there was a lock-down, shut-down option in the wintertime that fit in with what we were trying to do, role-wise and financially," Dombrowski said. "Other people may think differently, but there weren't a lot of guys out there, and we felt we had options internally.  Now, it may have taken some time, but we still have a chance to do that." 
  • Joaquin Benoit has recently taken over the closer's role in Detroit and pitched well, which could erase any plans the Tigers had to acquire a stopper at the deadline.  "Where are you going to go out and get a guy with better stuff than Benoit?" Dombrowski said.
  • Marten Gasparini, the 16-year-old Italian prospect who signed a $1.3MM contract with the Royals, spoke to Fangraphs' David Laurila about his transition to North America.
  • The Twins haven't asked agent Jaime Torres about the location of Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne's showcase in Barcelona tomorrow, 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson reports (Twitter link).  Wolfson notes in a follow-up tweet that this just means the Twins haven't informed Torres, not that they won't attend altogether, and Wolfson says the Twins "have a book" on Despaigne.
  • Byron Buxton holds the top spot on Baseball America's midseason ranking of the top 50 prospects in the sport.  The Twins outfielder "is even better than expected with power, speed, defense and an extremely advanced hitting approach," states BA's staff report.  Buxton was ranked as the No. 10 prospect in Baseball America's preseason rankings but has risen to No. 1 after hitting .344/.424/.548 with nine homers and 33 steals in 366 PA at the low and high-A levels this season.
  • In AL Central news from earlier today, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported that Twins right-hander P.J. Walters had cleared outright assignment waivers.


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