The Indians' recent trade for outfielder Jason Kubel and signing of catcher Kelly Shoppach demonstrate that their Triple-A affiliate in Columbus lacks hitting prospects, argues Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Pluto also writes that the Indians were not likely to trade for Justin Morneau of the Twins (who ultimately went to the Pirates) because their attendance this season has been disappointing, and they therefore wouldn't be willing to pay for the rest of Morneau's contract. Here are more notes from around the AL Central.
- The Indians have already pulled the plug on a total $13MM investment in Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers, but Indians president Mark Shapiro tells Pluto that one-year contracts tend to be volatile. "When you sign a free agent for one year, you know you are dealing in a highly speculative market," Shapiro says. Pluto notes, however, that productive seasons from minor-league signees Scott Kazmir and Ryan Raburn have helped the Indians compensate for the struggles of Reynolds and Myers.
- Royals manager Ned Yost and GM Dayton Moore have not discussed the possibility of an extension for Yost, whose contract expires after the season, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes. But there do not appear to be any other signs that Yost is in danger of losing his job, and Moore says that he would rather not discuss a contract extension with his manager while the season is going on. "I think Ned has done a terrific job," says Moore. "I’ve said that publicly. Ned has remained very consistent in his leadership." The Royals are currently 70-66, and could be headed for their first winning season since 2003.