Adam Warren found out about his trade to the Cubs in a somewhat unusual fashion, as he explained in an interview with MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (hat tip to CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa). Warren and his wife were on vacation in St. Lucia and “our biggest rule when we go out of the country is to turn your phone off, put them into the safe in the room, and basically get away from technology.” This meant that the Warrens discovered that the right-hander had been dealt to Chicago as part of the Starlin Castro trade only by watching a TV screen’s sports ticker while at dinner. Here’s some more from around the Central divisions…
- Indians manager Terry Francona touched on such topics as his relationship with the front office, the Tribe’s reluctance to trade its starting pitching, and the club’s winter moves in a wide-ranging interview with Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Francona stressed the importance of pitching depth, saying he’d rather “take his chances” with having one less bat in the lineup than giving up a rotation member. He and the front office “were all in agreement that we were not going to trade one of our (top) starters unless we were overwhelmed with an offer.”
- Francona said Rajai Davis was “the first name out of my mouth” in postseason discussions about what outfielders the Indians could sign within their price range. He noted that Davis “has always been such a thorn when we’ve played against him” as a member of the Tigers. Francona also praised new first baseman Mike Napoli’s power and clubhouse presence, saying that after Cleveland signed Napoli, his “phone about blew up” with texts “from guys who had played with Mike and really liked him.”
- The Tigers have long been plagued with bullpen issues, yet Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes that the club has quickly and seemingly solidly addressed its relief needs before the end of 2015 in adding Francisco Rodriguez, Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe. “I can’t say I’m surprised, but I will tell you that I didn’t know if we were ever really going to be able to do the whole thing,” GM Al Avila said. “But it was a methodically laid out plan and you don’t know if you’re going to be able to do it, you don’t know if you’re going to have some bumps along the road, you don’t know if it’s going to take longer or shorter.”
- In another piece from Fenech, Jarrod Saltalamacchia said he decided to join the Tigers due to their commitment to winning. Though several other teams were interesting in signing the catcher, it was “an easy decision” for Saltalamacchia since “it’s an organization that every year is trying to compete for the World Series.”
- In other Central division news from earlier today, the Cardinals’ deal with Mike Leake became official, and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported on the five-year, $80MM contract’s rather unusual annual salary breakdown.