AL Central Notes: V-Mart, Hunter, Zimmer

We’ve already had one batch of AL Central news items earlier today, but here are a few more from around the division…

  • It seems “certain” that the Tigers will extend a qualifying offer to Victor Martinez this winter, MLive.com’s Chris Iott writes as part of a reader mailbag.  Though Martinez turns 36 in December, he’s still swinging a live bat, bringing an .859 OPS over 99 PA into today’s action.  This is just my speculation, but given Martinez’s age and defensive limitations, I wonder if he could actually accept the one-year qualifying offer (which should be worth roughly $15MM) to stay in a familiar situation in Detroit rather than risk facing a Kendrys Morales -esque extended wait in free agency.
  • Torii Hunter did a bit of recruiting to bring Joel Hanrahan to the Tigers, both players tell MLB.com’s Jason Beck.  Hunter and Hanrahan are both represented by agent Larry Reynolds and work out together during the offseason.
  • Kyle Zimmer, the fifth pick of the 2012 draft, skipped Spring Training and will see his first game action this coming week, Jim Callis writes for MLB.com.  While Zimmer is presently healthy, he had a bout of late-season biceps tendinitis and said his arm still didn’t feel when throwing in December.  As such, the Royals are taking it very easy with their star prospect and plan to cap him around 148 innings, though they could call on him for a pennant race.  “If he pitches like we expect him to, we’ll have a fresh Kyle Zimmer in September,” Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo said.  “He’s as important as anybody in the organization for this year and the future, and this just made more sense.”
  • In other prospect-workload news, Twins assistant GM Rob Antony hinted to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Alex Meyer could see roughly a 30-percent increase in his innings from 2013.  I think 30 percent is pretty much the standard,” Antony said. “It’s kind of the guideline you work under. You monitor it….We just want him to stay healthy throughout the year and continue to progress.”  This projects to around 156 IP for Meyer in 2014, and since he’s pitched so well in five Triple-A starts, the big righty could be a late-season callup.  Antony didn’t address that possibility other than to say “The intensity is a lot different (in the minors).”

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