Here’s the latest from around the AL Central…
- The White Sox and Cubs have both contacted the Rays about their pitching and outfield surplus, CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine reports. The Cubs’ discussions with the Rays have been well-documented this winter, though the Sox are a new entry among the many teams to touch base with the Rays about their young arms; Levine notes that at least 11 teams have asked Tampa Bay about pitchers. The White Sox have needs at both corner outfield positions and at the back end of their rotation. The all-lefty trio of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon will headline the Pale Hose rotation, while John Danks, Jacob Turner and Erik Johnson are the current competitors for the fourth and fifth starters’ jobs.
- The White Sox went on a seven-game winning streak from July 23 to July 29 last season, though this hot stretch right in the leadup to the trade deadline didn’t really change the team’s plans, GM Rick Hahn tells MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. The decision to keep Jeff Samardzija at the deadline, for instance, wasn’t made because of the win streak; “nothing materialized and nothing was done in principal” in terms of a possible Samardzija trade, though the Sox were discussing him with teams. “Those [talks] don’t necessarily happen July 27, 28, 29 and 30th. Those are going on for several weeks,” Hahn said.
- The Indians have offered Juan Uribe around $3MM, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports as part of his latest subscription-only column. Uribe has been linked to the Tribe and a few other teams, though salary will depend on whether or not Uribe is slated for a starting or backup role. Cleveland seems likely to use Uribe and Giovanny Urshela in a time-share at third, so Uribe wouldn’t get the lion’s share of playing time.
- Speaking of Urshela, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer looks at the Indians’ incumbent at the hot corner, noting that it’s too soon to write off the 24-year-old as an all-glove, no-bat player. While Urshela’s minor league numbers aren’t impressive overall, he did post an .825 OPS over 528 PA at Double-A and Triple-A in 2014. Pluto notes that Urshela battled injuries in 2015 and was probably promoted too quickly. Urshela’s glove is so impressive that he can be a very useful everyday player if he hits even just a little, though Pluto notes that there are enough questions surrounding Urshela that the Tribe is justified in looking for an upgrade, especially in a season when team plans to contend.
- The Indians are leaning more towards Uribe than David Freese to address their third base need, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes as part of a reader mailbag. Freese entered the winter as the best of a fairly thin free agent third base market but there’s been very little news about him this winter, aside from some talks with the Angels before they acquired Yunel Escobar.
- Randy Rosario was something of a surprising addition to the Twins’ 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 draft, but as Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes, the Twins are impressed by the young left-hander’s promise. Rosario, 21, missed much of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery before returning to pitch 53 2/3 innings in A-ball last season. The Dominican Republic product signed an $85K contract with the Twins in 2010.