AL Central Notes: Miguel Cabrera, Kipnis, Twins

The AL Central has already been in the news twice this morning, with the Tigers trading for veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez and the Twins releasing reliever Matt Guerrier.  More from the division:

  • "Word is there is some early optimism" in contract talks between the Tigers and superstar Miguel Cabrera, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Heyman believes Cabrera should top Alex Rodriguez's $27.5MM average annual value, but probably won't be able to score a ten-year deal.  With Cabrera already signed through 2015, a new deal would begin with his age-33 campaign.  The Tigers recently broke off talks with pitcher Max Scherzer, who is eligible for free agency after this season.
  • Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis says everyone on the team was rooting for Justin Masterson to get a deal done, but added, "Everyone in this room, at one point of time, has experienced the business side of this game," talking to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Kipnis offered nothing to reveal the state of his own contract negotiations, which have the typical Opening Day deadline.  The Tribe opens their season in Oakland a week from today.  Kipnis remains under team control through 2017.
  • Infielder Eduardo Escobar and veteran Jason Kubel have made the Twins, tweets La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  Escobar is out of options, while Kubel is subject to tomorrow's $100K retention bonus deadline.  Neal's colleague Phil Miller has quotes from non-roster invitee Jason Bartlett, who appears to be on the losing end of the team's backup infielder battle.
  • Twins second baseman Brian Dozier calls an extension "very unlikely," but he remains open to midseason talks, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  Dozier, 27 in May, is already under team control through 2018.
  • "For the way we're set up with our finances and our payroll, starting pitching costs a lot of money to maintain, so that's why it's important to develop it," Royals assistant general manager for scouting and player development J.J. Picollo tells MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis.  Callis names Yordano Ventura, Kyle Zimmer, Sean Manaea, and Miguel Almonte as the team's top young arms.
  • For the White Sox, "the most recent [roster] cuts stem from the decision to retain a third first baseman based on latent talisman powers," writes Jim Margalus of South Side Sox in reference to the team's decision to bring Paul Konerko back.
  • What is it like finding out you've been traded?  "I was literally on the field, taking ground balls, when the GM, Jerry (Dipoto) comes running out, pulls me off the field with (manager Mike Scioscia)," new Tigers infielder Andrew Romine tells Dick Scanlon of the Detroit Free Press.  He added, "We go in and have a meeting and right away: 'Hey, we’re trading you over to Detroit for a left-handed pitcher.'"
  • For a reminder which AL Central players are out of options, check out my post from March 6th.

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6 Comments on "AL Central Notes: Miguel Cabrera, Kipnis, Twins"

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Isn’t baseball’s AAV record already “something beyond $27.5MM,” something similar to say Kershaw’s 30 MM AAV?

EDIT: Thanks for the fix Tim.

1 year 6 months ago

Good point.

1 year 6 months ago

Detroit FO and fans may rejoice at the day Boras decline their best offer. Cabby is a better sign for the LT outlook and has been consistent throughout his career as one of the best hitters in the game. Scherzer has that 1 season going for him and will be looking to be paid as the best pitcher in the game at 30 years of age.

Will Boras get it? Myself? Shields, at 34 would be safer on a 3-4y deal at around 15m AAV, roughly half the numbers Scherzer seems to be wanting and many more years of outstanding work.

Masterson as well may end up as the better deal, not quality, but overall deal for the money. Boras has Scherzer set up on some kind of false pedestal here, much like the one Ian Kennedy sat upon for only a couple of seasons..

1 year 6 months ago

I’ve been wondering how the other Tribe players felt about the Masterson situation. Now, will this affect future extension negotiations with someone like Kipnis? And what about the “Terry Francona effect?” Will that really come into play when trying to convince other free-agents to come to Cleveland—-especially when a player he obviously cares for a lot gets turned down by the FO?

1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think it is fair to say that the Tribe front office turned down Masterson any more than it would be to say Masterson turned down the team. They couldn’t come together on a deal. Masterson signaled that he might be able to compromise a little – on the number of years in such a deal. The Indians said, “sure, if you come down on price, too.” Masterson said no. The Indians offer was not unreasonable. The effect on the team? I’m sure it is frustrating.

1 year 6 months ago

I liked most of the roster decisions the Twins have made but not this one with Kubel. He looked finished last year, and did nothing in spring training to make one think he can contribute at all. Seems incredible shortsighted to hand a roster spot to him when younger options were available.