AL Central Notes: Konerko, Abreu, Jimenez, Ausmus

The Fielding Bible released its list of the best defensive players in all baseball, and one of only two back-to-back names is Alex Gordon of the Royals. (Of course, the other – Yadier Molina – has accumulated six total nods.) Elsewhere in the AL Central …

  • First baseman Paul Konerko is apparently unsure of how to interpret the White Sox' signing of Jose Dariel Abreu, He said he doesn't "know what the story is behind that" – referring to Abreu's long-term deal — as reported by Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). A meeting between player and team has yet to be put on the schedule, according to Kane.
  • Meanwhile, Abreu's deal has seen mixed reactions. Count Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs in favor of the deal: he predicts that Abreu will be one of the game's 25 best hitters, making him well worth his contract.
  • The Indians will "almost certainly" make a qualifying offer to starter Ubaldo Jimenez, says Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Echoing other recent reports, Bastian says that the team would like to retain him on a one-year deal in the QO range, but will not be interested if his price tag approaches the $35MM given the similarly situated Tim Lincecum. While opinions have varied as to whether Lincecum's deal will have a real impact on the open market, it could have a fairly direct bearing on Jimenez since it takes one competitor out of the free agent supply.
  • Bastian also opines that the Indians will most likely shop for a mid-tier rotation piece while aiming to extend Justin Masterson. MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth recently previewed the Tribe's offseason, discussing the internal rotation options and noting that the club could well need a replacement for Jimenez.
  • Brad Ausmus has interviewed for the Tigers' managerial opening, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports via Twitter. For more details, see this article from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.

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