AL Central Notes: Baker, Twins, Abreu

With Rangers right-hander Scott Baker‘s May 1 opt-out date fast approaching, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo hears that both the Indians and White Sox could have some interest in the former Twins and Cubs right-hander (Twitter link). Baker’s career has stalled since 2012 Tommy John surgery, and Cotillo reported yesterday that he’d only opt out if he were to receive a big league opportunity elsewhere. Baker’s strong performance in Triple-A — a 2.81 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in his first 32 innings — could be enticing to teams with rotation issues. Elsewhere in the AL Central…

  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN has a couple of draft-related items for Twins fans (Twitter links), as he reports that Minnesota “loves” Texas prep right-hander Tyler Kolek, though the team is fairly certain he’ll be taken prior to their No. 5 overall selection (MLB.com has Kolek ranked third among draft prospects, while ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him second last month). Also, Wolfson reports that the Twins and Blue Jays are both interested in Minnesota prep left-hander/first baseman Sam Hentges.
  • Wolfson’s colleague Phil Mackey takes on the MLB All-Star nomination system, blasting it for its failure to keep up with technology. Mackey uses Chris Colabello, who is not on the ballot, as a prime example of the system’s failures. He asks why MLB can’t adjust on the fly after projected starters are submitted early in Spring Training, concluding: Presumably because they already printed out millions of hanging-chad paper ballots to be distributed throughout ballparks in an era where two out of every three adults owns a smartphone in this country.”

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