In an interview with Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (video link), Tigers ace David Price discussed his lasting connection with the Vanderbilt baseball program, the absence of Victor Martinez in his team’s lineup, his early picks for the AL Cy Young and, perhaps most interestingly to MLBTR readers, his upcoming free agency. Price says that free agency hasn’t been on his mind very often throughout the year to this point, as he tries to focus on the season at hand. Price adds that winning “takes precedent over everything else” when thinking about where he will play after 2015, but he feels the culture of the team will be important as well. “I want to have fun,” said Price. “There are some teams that are just a no-fun zone. I don’t care how much money I’m making. To me, I couldn’t imagine waking up and [not wanting to go to the field]. I couldn’t handle that. I’ll quit before that happens.” The 2012 Cy Young winner also reiterated that he wants a chance to win both immediately and long-term.
More from the AL Central…
- Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com looks at the Indians’ recent decision to option Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez in favor of Zach Walters and Giovanny Urshela. Ramirez’s demotion was long overdue, says Meisel, but a lack of alternatives in the Majors delayed the decision. Meisel notes that the clock is ticking on a promotion for top prospect Francisco Lindor, and he also wonders if Chisenhall might’ve “burned through his last chance” with the Indians after another demotion.
- Via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (Twitter link), Indians GM Chris Antonetti said that Lindor was, in fact, a consideration to join the big league roster. However, Lindor has been bothered by some minor hand and core issues and is not currently at 100 percent. As Meisel noted in his piece, Lindor is slashing .295/.363/.446 over the past month after a slow start, so it’s fair to wonder just how much longer it will be before the consensus Top 10 prospect joins Cleveland’s big league roster. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that he gets the sense that the team wants to see Lindor consistently perform at the Triple-A level before a promotion.
- The Twins have optioned struggling shortstop Danny Santana to Triple-A Rochester and recalled DH Kennys Vargas in his place. Both switch-hitters were in Minnesota’s Opening Day lineup, but each endured struggles. Santana received a longer leash than Vargas, who was optioned in early May, but the team seems to have run out of patience for the time being. Santana batted just .218/.235/.291 just one year after hitting .319/.353/.472 as a rookie. He’ll work on rediscovering his stroke and also cutting down on the errors at shortstop, but I’d imagine that with Jorge Polanco performing well at Double-A and being a more well-regarded defender, there’s a chance that Polanco could leapfrog Santana. As for Vargas, the hulking slugger hit .308/.403/.519 with three homers in 16 Triple-A games. He should get another chance to hold down Minnesota’s DH spot for the duration of the season. However, Twins DHs are hitting just .249/.308/.328, so if Vargas struggles, that may be an area they consider short-term upgrades this summer. In fact, I could envision the Twins looking for help at either of those positions in July, if they hang in near the top of the division.