Here’s the latest from around the AL Central…
- The White Sox and Tigers have expressed interest in Justin Masterson, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, meaning that all five AL Central clubs have at least checked in on the free agent righty. Outside of this division, Masterson’s long list of suitors also includes the Braves, Cubs, Red Sox, Giants and Marlins.
- The Indians touched base with Masterson early in the offseason but “haven’t shown a lot of interest” since, Hoynes writes.
- In an interview with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter links here), Twins GM Terry Ryan said his team “could use a right handed bat in the outfield. We’re rather young here especially in the outfield.” Of course, the Twins have been connected to a right-handed hitting veteran in Torii Hunter, who recently said that he’d had numerous conversations with Ryan. Minnesota is one of at least 10 teams who have shown interest in Hunter’s services this offseason. Earlier today on MLBTR, Jeff Todd outlined Hunter’s free agent profile.
- On the Twins’ search for pitching, Ryan said that he’s looking for both left- and right-handed starters, noting that his club doesn’t have many proven innings-eaters in the rotation. Relatively few free agent pitchers have come off the board this winter, though Ryan said “it may be a slow moving market and then one of those big time pitchers goes and all heck breaks loose.”
- Adam LaRoche wasn’t keen to fully transition to a full-time DH role, yet he told reporters (including CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes) during his introductory White Sox press conference that he’s happy to cede most of the first base duties to Jose Abreu. “They’ve got a kid [Abreu] that’s obviously going to be around and be really good for a long time,” LaRoche said. “It’s not fair to make him a full-time DH this early in his career, especially when he can handle first base and handle the glove over there….I’ll do it however it plays out. If they need me to play first more than we’re talking about, great, I’ll be there. If I end up DHing more, that’s fine.” Sox manager Robin Ventura said that he plans to give LaRoche two starts per week at first base, a time-share that will hopefully keep both LaRoche and Abreu fresh for the entire season.