Frank Thomas is rejoining the White Sox as a special consultant of business operations, the Hall-of-Famer told reporters (including CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes). Thomas had been working in an ambassador role with the Sox but took some time off to join Fox’s baseball broadcasts as an analyst; the Big Hurt will still continue his TV work in addition to working for the team. Here’s some more from around the AL Central…
- The Indians may not be done making lineup additions, GM Mike Chernoff said in an interview today with Jim Duquette and Jeff Joyce of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter links). Giving up a draft pick for a signing wouldn’t be out of the question, Chernoff said, if the value balances out with the team’s long-term goals. Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler are the only two everyday players remaining with draft pick compensation attached via the qualifying offer, and Cleveland would have to surrender their first-rounder (the 15th overall selection) to sign either, a substantial loss for a smaller-market club. I would guess that the Tribe would only sign Desmond or Fowler if either agreed to a low-cost one-year contract, so they could rebuild their free agent stock for the 2016-17 offseason and the Indians could then try to recoup a draft pick via their own qualifying offer.
- With James McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia ahead of him on the Tigers’ catching depth chart, Bryan Holaday could be a spring trade candidate, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News writes. Holaday has seen limited action over his four Major League seasons, with 108 games and 282 plate appearances to his name since debuting in 2012. While the Tigers would undoubtedly like to keep Holaday as depth, he’s also out of options and likely couldn’t be kept at Triple-A without another team taking him on waivers.
- During the TwinsFest fan event this weekend, Twins GM Terry Ryan answered questions about Joe Mauer, the team’s young players and the team’s ability to sign major long-term contracts, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
- John Danks is approaching the 2016 season with an eye towards extending his career, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin writes. “I would say I’m more focused on this year, and my feeling is if I can put up a good year, then it won’t be my last year,” Danks said. “So I don’t want it to be my last year. I don’t want to plant that seed or anything. I’m a realist and understand that teams have to want me and for a team to want me, I’ve got to be good.” Since signing a five-year, $65MM extension with the White Sox following the 2011 season, Danks has battled injuries and struggled to the tune of a 4.82 ERA and 5.9 K/9 over 563 1/3 innings. The southpaw has at least been a durable innings-eater over the last two years, recording 371 1/3 IP since the start of the 2014 campaign. Even if Danks struggles in 2016, he’s only 30 years old, so I suspect he’d find a minor league deal next winter to continue his career.
- The Royals internally project to lose money in 2016 unless they manage another deep playoff run, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star writes. The team is willing to spend outside its comfort zone in order to take another shot at a World Series, with Mellinger noting that baseball’s shared TV contracts and revenue-sharing policies have allowed the small-market Royals to get into a position to contend in the first place.