AL Central Notes: Sano, Masterson, Scherzer

Here are a couple of bullets relating to the American League Central:

  • Consensus top-five overall prospect Miguel Sano of the Twins is headed for an MRI after suffering an injury to his throwing elbow. His agent, Rob Plummer, tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he fears the worst — a torn UCL — although he makes clear that nothing is yet known for certain. Rehab is always an option, though club and player had already considered Tommy John surgery after Sano strained the ligament over the winter. The health of Sano's elbow could have quite a significant impact on his future value, not just due to possible delays in his development, but because some already believe he will not be able to man the hot corner at the MLB level.
  • Though Justin Masterson said yesterday that he thinks he'll ultimately reach agreement to extend his stay with the Indians, Peter Gammons of says that may be hard to reach in reality. A GM told Gammons that the two top starters most likely to be truly available on the open market are Masterson and James Shields. Looking ahead to the potential payday he could land, suggests Gammons, Masterson may be forced to choose between playing in Cleveland and earning market value.
  • The GM that Gammons spoke thought it likely that Max Scherzer would stay with the Tigers. But while the club has reached massive extensions with superstars like Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, negotiating a new pact with Scherzer will be most difficult of all, writes Jon Heyman of In large part, says Heyman, that fact is driven not only by Scherzer's skyrocketing value, but also his own "cool business stance" towards his next new deal. Detroit has played its part by agreeing to a record arbitration raise with Scherzer and clearing space for a new deal through several big offseason deals. But Heyman says that the reigning AL Cy Young winner has his sights set on matching — or even exceeding — the kinds of guarantees achieved by Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander in recent years.

57 Responses to AL Central Notes: Sano, Masterson, Scherzer Leave a Reply

  1. kungfucampby 1 year ago

    No way the Tigers keep Scherzer and Cabrera. And between those two you obviously choose Cabrera. Scherzer is not going to age well. Not going to be worth the massive deal he will get from another club. Let him walk and take the draft pick.

    • McTigers 1 year ago

      Amen. Max is unhittable when he’s on, but he’s had one consistent season and good as he was, other than that W-L record (which even he admits is fluky) he wasn’t significantly better than Sanchez or JV (even in a down year). I like Max, but the Tigers would be foolish to buy high on that funky delivery for the long-term because of his 2013 numbers. Save that $ for Cabrera and to plug the holes left by Hunter and Victor. With the new-look defense, even Porcello and Smyly could wind up looking like aces this season.

  2. Karl Larson 1 year ago

    Great, the Twins will lose the only thing that will make them watchable this year.

    • Ryan 1 year ago

      Sano probably wasn’t going to make the team out of spring training anyways as the Twins will more than likely want to line up the arrival of these young players at the same time like they did with the Torii Hunter, Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie, AJ Pierzynski, Jacque Jones group

      • Karl Larson 1 year ago

        True, but they are losing their fanbase because they don’t realize how good Buxton and Sano really are. They are less optimistic than we are.

        • Sky14 1 year ago

          How do you draw that conclusion?
          If that were true then that is one fickle fan base.

        • dean 1 year ago

          They both are not 100% ready for the bigs. They need to develope more. They are the #1 &#3 prospect in all of mlb and when they are ready they will come

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        I’d worry more about him not getting the surgery done now and over with. A strain is a tear, there is no such thing as a strain, it’s a tear.

        Remember a couple years ago the Carl Crawford fiasco in Boston where the Sox FO had him rehabbing a “strain” for several months, then he played for the team a couple of months, had to have the surgery anyway?

        It’s just delaying the inevitable.

        Twins have a most valuable “commodity” here.. He’s so young.. Have it now, get him back early, then have him DH a little at the latter part of the season. Why they didn’t do this back in November is weird.

        He wasn’t going to be playing this year for Them anyway, or until late in the season. They really hurt themselves with this maneuver.

        • twins33 1 year ago

          Team doctors and Dr Andrews recommended to rehab it. I agree, it almost never works but it’s hard to just ignore a doctor’s recommendation especially when it’s Andrews, no matter how many times it doesn’t work.

          That being said, Sano’s agent has been interviewed recently. His agent suggested to him that he do the surgery back in November (or whenever) and Sano adamantly said no. And I don’t think you can force someone to do surgery against their will.

    • 0vercast 1 year ago

      Mauer playing 1B will be watchable. It’ll be quite fun seeing what he can do with fresh legs for the first time in his career. I think he’s going to kill it. I’ve been waiting years for this.

  3. Maaaaaan, I hope Sano’s results are negative. Really hoping to catch him in Rochester.

  4. Anthony 1 year ago

    Every fan has experienced a plummet in the stomach like I just did when I read about Sano. I had the same feeling when Kirby Puckett when blind in one eye suddenly and never played another inning. Sano is young and even if it requires surgery it’s nothing like the Puckett situation. I can imagine the outpouring of emotion when Lou Gehrig’s body failed so suddenly. I’m a Twins fan but I’m saying that every fan has had this happen to them.

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago

      Well, he’s not a pitcher, and it’s his elbow. Worst comes to absolute worst he has to play 1B. But dude can still rake.

    • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

      Yeah, I wouldn’t worry too much about this. It’s never good to lose a year of development, but he was most likely going to be a poor defensive 3B even before the injury. His bat will be his meal ticket, great arm or not.

  5. Alex 1 year ago

    Kershaw and Verlander both broke out at top of the rotation guys when they were young. Scherzer broke out at 29. There’s no way one year of dominance makes Scherzer more valuable than Verlander or a Kershaw that’s 4 years younger. Maybe Greinke or Tanaka’s deal is more realistic.

    • tribe1045 1 year ago

      Exactly. If Scherzer gets anywhere near as much as Kershaw, then we know those crazy eyes work voodoo magic on hitters and executives alike.

      • Jake13 1 year ago

        Apparently Indians hitters too, they had no success whatsoever against him, or the rest of the team for that matter.

  6. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Has Heyman ever said anything negative about a Boras client?

    • kungfucampby 1 year ago

      Nope, or else the checks start bouncing.

  7. Curt Green 1 year ago

    The Dodgers will be there to sign Scherzer when the Tigers don’t.

    • MilkMeMore 1 year ago

      Pretty sure David Price is higher on the list which means we will rather wait for dan harens contract to come off and see how the pitching prospects pan out

      • Jake13 1 year ago

        I doubt the Dodgers pay David Price $250 million to be the #3 starter, Dodgers fans are getting ridiculous.

        • GrilledCheese39 1 year ago

          Honestly even as a Pirates fan I’d think that’d be cool to see. They would be the biggest dream team ever. Watch them sign Price and Scherzer.. That’d be a pretty good rotation I think…. Kershaw/Greinke/Price/Scherzer/Ryu

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            That could contend for the best rotation ever kept together, if Greinke doesn’t opt out.

          • Jake13 1 year ago

            By WAR the best rotation ever was the 2013 Detroit Tigers, and that rotation is far better than the Tigers rotation

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            By which WAR, though? Also, keeping it together for several seasons is a big key. Having a three-pronged beast of Scherzer/Anibal/Verlander atop the rotation for 2012-2017 would be amazing.

        • MilkMeMore 1 year ago

          250MM ? and you dare call us ridiculous ? You guys can pay scherzer that much if you want but all i said is david price is on dodgers radar but wont go broke because he would just be a luxury

          • Jake13 1 year ago

            David Price is young and a top 5 pitcher in the MLB, prices are only going up, he is better than Greinke and look how much Greinke got, no way Price takes under $200. There is a reason Dave Dombrowski is in line to be the next commisioner and on his way to the Hall of Fame, he is the best in the game and whatever he decides to do is for the best. If he thinks Scherzer is worth $250 million then Scherzer is worth $250 million.

          • MilkMeMore 1 year ago

            Greinke got 6 years and Price will be older than him when he hits FA also you originally said $250MM (which is what im talking about), $200MM is completely different. Plus how many pitchers have gotten more than 7 years in FA over the past few years ?
            Kershaw Barely got 200MM over 7 years.

            Also just to troll David Price for $200 is a steal !

  8. Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

    Why does everyone assume Masterson is going to base his decision on how much money he can command? Justin is a Christian, and very strong in his faith. As such, money is not at the top of the list of factors used in making decisions. Family is important, and I’m sure he takes their opinions into account when making decisions. He’s already stated how blessed he feels. And he’s also stated how much he likes playing in Cleveland, and for Terry Francona. Here’s hoping Justin and family are here for years to come. GO TRIBE!!

    • Tko11 1 year ago

      Is this supposed to be some sort of satire? “Justin is a Christian, and very strong in his faith” lol

      • Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

        No satire. Just the truth.

      • LazerTown 1 year ago

        was a good line. I have no clue what being a Christian goes to show about him staying in Cleveland. And if he did go for the big payday, then wouldn’t he make more money to help people?

    • 0vercast 1 year ago

      You speak for all Christians?

      There are a lot of Christians out there, and many of them are very VERY wealthy. Just saying.

      • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

        Of course there are very wealthy Christians. Do you know how well it pays in business to market yourself as the Christians choice?

        • 0vercast 1 year ago

          Absolutely. It works in politics too.

          However, the OP said that Justin is a Christian, and as a Christian, he’ll tend to his family’s needs before chasing the money. I gotta say, most families would be better off with some additional money in the bank accounts and trust funds.

    • McTigers 1 year ago

      If you’ve watched any sports in the last 20 years, 9 out of 10 athletes claim to be Christians strong in their faith (every post-game interview starts with “I’d like to thank God” like he’s more invested in the game than dealing with starvation and genocide). And 9 out of 10 times, they follow the money.

      • Tom 1 year ago

        Way more than 9 out of 10. Maybe 1 or 2 out of a 100 don’t follow the money, and only marginally.

  9. 0vercast 1 year ago

    There was no chance on Sano making the team out of spring training. Personally, I think it’s very unlikely that he’ll be a MLB 3B for very long, if at all. T. Ryan said he’s weighing in at 6′ 5″ and 250 lbs. That’s not a 3B, that’s a moose. And moose play 1B (taken), RF (taken – Arcia), LF (taken -Willingham, for one more year), or DH (taken – Kubel, for at least one year).

    Furthermore, this could be 3B Plouffe’s last year with the Twins. I predict he’ll be midseason trade bait for a contending team (Yankees) looking for some pop on the cheap. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sano was given a shot at 3B, at least for a little while.

    In my opinion, given that 1B belongs to Mauer for the next 5 years (at least), and DH is a lot easier to fill than corner-OF, Sano projects to be a corner outfielder for the Twins. Likely filling the void left by Willingham next season.

    I don’t expect to see Sano this season. He’s done. That goose…cooked. They have been talking Tommy John for a half-year now. Now, a week into Spring Training, his elbow is barking at him. They should have just done the surgery last fall. I’m not happy about this. Seriously, Twins…fail. Major fail here.

    • buffalonichols 1 year ago

      So, the Twins had James Andrews look at Sano’s elbow and he saw nothing requiring surgery, but somehow it’s still a fail? Whatever.

      • 0vercast 1 year ago

        I understand that, and I wished Andrew’s hadn’t said that at the time. How often do these players successfully recover from UCL strains?

        • buffalonichols 1 year ago

          I don’t really know, but I guess I’d assume that somebody like James Andrews would be the one to know the best in a situation like that.

        • twins33 1 year ago


          I know I’m posting a few days late, but Sano’s agent said Sano “adamantly said no to surgery” back then. I’m not sure a team can force someone to have surgery against their will.

    • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

      I know they are putting Mauer at 1B this year, but what about trying him out at 3B? He has the arm and should be athletic enough to pull it off. I think the team might be better off with Mauer at 3B and Sano at 1B.

      • 0vercast 1 year ago

        That’s not a bad idea, but after catcher, third base may be the most physically taxing position on the diamond. Excluding pitcher, of course.

        I want to see Mauer as fresh as possible. 1B or RF seem like an idea fit.

  10. McTigers 1 year ago

    Hope Sano is alright, even as a Tigers fan. Hate to see promising young talent get cut down by injury, and the Central is shaping up to be one interesting race this season!

  11. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    Three predictions:

    1. Scherzer will out-pitch Verlander over the next 5 years.
    2. Cabrera will be signed this offseason.
    3. Scherzer will ask for and not get Kershaw money from the Tigers. They will move on with two “Red Sox style” 3 year mid-level deals spreading their risk.

    • EightMileCats 1 year ago

      1. I disagree, but they will both be solid solid pitchers
      2. Agreed
      3. I don’t know that Max ask for that from Detroit. He’s made it known he wants to be in Detroit. That said, not sure its wise to tie up that kind’ve money in 3 pitchers (Anibal, JV, Max)

  12. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    He plays 90% of this season at age 31, and he’s already 30. How is he not? Not to mention, a new contract doesn’t even start until 2016. He’ll turn 33 three weeks into that season..

  13. johnsilver 1 year ago

    Just like Ortiz and Vlad declined on the wrong side of 30 with that body type

    I understand what you are saying and obviously not all big guys will age like that, but if a team is going to go out and throw 150m at 1 or the other? Which guy of those 2 is it going to get the best value from? Hands down on 1. Just please move him to DH where he won’t butcher the team’s defense.

    Edit: I meant by if Cabby makes it to near age 40

  14. mwagner26 1 year ago

    You’re not really explaining WHY he’s labeled as so.

  15. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    A) Ortiz never earned the major, major payday Cabrera is about to get. He was never on Cabrera’s level.
    B) Yes, Vladimir Guerrero did decline after age 30. Very obviously. He was out of baseball after age 36 and was useless and hurt at age 34. So, yeah, he lasted effectively and reliably through 33 and again at 35. Mind, Cabrera is *starting* a new deal at 33.
    Pujols decline. Frank Thomas declined. A-Rod declined. Even the best decline in their mid-30s. Those are three of the six or so (along with Manny, Bonds, Bagwell) hitters of the last thirty years.
    Great hitters decline in their thirties. Everyone expects it. I don’t see any reason to guarantee a major payday for Cabrera when he is getting hurt more often and is still two years off FA.

  16. johnsilver 1 year ago

    Vlad was out of baseball because he wouldn’t work for what was being offered to him. IE..His choice..

    The numbers he was producing as a DH at that time were top 3-5 at the time, so saying he was not producing was flat out wrong. Same with Derrek Lee (another far side of 30 producer) who quit playing the game because he couldn’t get paid what he thought was worth.

    35+ guys would be Carlos Lee who produced with huge bodies. There are some who did well, just hung it up when they made their fortunes and nobody would pay them what they deemed the services were worth. Not all were as greedy as Jason Giambi.


    Could make an exception to guys looking for HOF totals also, but none really there now, except Jeter probably.

  17. NickinIthaca 1 year ago

    Somehow Bonds got better as he aged. How he did it will go down as one of the greatest mysteries of our time…

  18. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    Wait, what? Vladimir Guerrero precipitously declined. That’s why he was run out of baseball. He was a below replacement level player in 2011. He had a 96 wRC+ as a DH. He was horrendous. Let’s not kid ourselves and say he was still good. He was bad. He was quite bad.
    He declined in WAR every single season from his MVP-winning 2004 until 2010, when he rebounded from 0.7 fWAR to 1.4, then slipped below replacement level in 2011 and was gone. This isn’t rocket scientist- it’s the case of a great player declining in health and skills.

  19. johnsilver 1 year ago

    I’m not going to go into the really indepth stat numbers ome do, because I never have and am from a time when they didn’t even exist. I will go into some as an example from Vlad’s last 2 seasons if you wish as a DH.

    His 2nd to last year, the guy’s OPS was .841, slugged .496 and hit 29HR at a cost of 5.5m. In 2011 his numbers went down some. Not arguing that. He still was better than MOST DH’s and had an OPS of .733, slugged .431 and hit 13HR. Some remember he was dealing with muscle issues that year in his chest. No excuse really. He made 7.7m that year. Refused to come back for the *thinking* it was in the 3-5m offer from Baltimore.

    As for going down some over the course of 2004-10. No denial on that, but was still producing better than most DH’s was the point all along and well worth the 5-15m AAV salaries he was earning during that time.

    Same with D.Lee. Carlos Lee (until the last season and a half perhaps). Many aged gracefully over there careers. Yaz was another if you remember him. My favorite A/time guy, Dwight Evans another.

  20. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    Aging gracefully is still decline. Vlad’s age-34 and -36 seasons were horrendous. From age 29 onward he got worse each season. My main problem is that Miguel Cabrera is showing major injury issues already. He’s amazing right now, among the best five players in the game, but as Pujols and Frank Thomas have shown, decline can be swift. I really don’t expect Miggy to be amazing past 2015. I think the next two years are the end of his peak. He’s going into his early 30s and I think he’ll decline. We’ll see though. A lot of this also depends on his demands.

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