AL Central Notes: Royals, Asdrubal, Indians, Hahn

A few items from around the AL Central…

  • After making a big push to contend in 2013, the Royals need to be willing to raise payroll to put the team over the top next season, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star opines.  "If there was ever a time the Royals had both the resources and motivation to make a push for the short-term, this is it," Mellinger writes.
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  • The Indians won't move Asdrubal Cabrera this offseason, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer predicts during his podcast with Dan Labbe.  Shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor isn't ready and is coming off a significant back injury, and Mike Aviles is a better fit for the Tribe as a bench player.  Cabrera hit only .242/.299/.402 in 562 PA in 2013 and will be a free agent following the 2014 season.
  • "There is so much focus on the offense, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Tribe approaches upgrading its defense this winter,"'s Jordan Bastian writes in an examination of the Indians' fielding numbers.  Cleveland had a team UZR/150 of -4.5 in 2013, the fifth-worst UZR/150 of any club in baseball.
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune) that he'd like to get his team back on the winning track as quickly as the Red Sox did from 2012 to 2013 but that might not involve mining the free agent market as much as Boston did.  "There's not going to be a free agent — premium or otherwise — who we don't view as helping us that we won't check in on at least….We're not ruling anything outBut the options in the free-agent market probably won't be quite as robust as some trade opportunities," Hahn said.  The bigger-picture plan for Hahn is to build from within rather than just pursue "short-term fixes." 
  • In AL Central news from earlier today, White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham is drawing trade interest from the Blue Jays, and the Tigers will not be re-signing free agent catcher Brayan Pena.

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