Here's the latest from the A.L. Central:
- While the picture remains somewhat unclear, it seems apparent that the Tigers are preparing to deal with life without young shortstop Jose Iglesias for some time. The club made an inquiry with the Diamondbacks about shortstop Chris Owings, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, but the discussions were not fruitful.
- Of course, one obvious possibility involves the signing of free agent Stephen Drew, which seems not to be the club's first option. While there is a seeming fit — Drew is a solid veteran, the Tigers are a win-now club — some pundits agree with Detroit's inclination to look internally while exploring the trade market. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, for example, argues that Detroit is better off patching things over to start the year and evaluating as time goes on. The performance of the fill-ins, recovery of Iglesias, and developments in the market could all lead to solutions and increase clarity, and Cameron says the team is likely good enough to absorb some performance decline in the meantime.
- The Royals are expected to tab prospect Yordano Ventura to open the season in the rotation, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. The 22-year-old has backed up his billing as one of the game's top pitching prospects with a stellar spring. Of course, if Ventura breaks camp on the active roster, the Royals will lose the chance to delay his service clock and retain control for an additional season.
- There is an increasing sense of urgency in Minnesota with ticket sales lagging, and the Twins will be aggressive with roster changes if need be in the early going, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider piece). The club already spent the sixth-most cash in the game through free agency, and Olney says it may be willing to move up some high-end talent if it struggles out of the gate. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire admitted today that he was intrigued by the possibility of utilizing the towering Alex Meyer out of the pen for his first taste of MLB action, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.