The Indians have a lot of offseason work ahead of them, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, particularly when it comes to upgrading the team’s lineup. The Tribe could use help at several spots around the diamond, and Hoynes intriguingly wonders how much the club could be counting on from Carlos Santana in 2016. Santana entered today hitting .222/.355/.381 with 12 homers and a league-leading 74 walks over 439 plate appearances — still above-average offensive numbers (109 wRC+), though the power dropoff has to be a concern for Cleveland. The Tribe wasn’t interested in dealing him before the deadline and since Santana is owed only $8.25MM in 2016 (plus a $12MM club option for 2017 with a $1.2MM buyout), I’d think he’s enough of a cost-effective asset that it makes more sense for the offense-starved Indians to keep him. Here’s some more from around the AL Central…
- Also from Hoynes’ piece, he doubts the Indians will make any big moves in free agency given how little return they got from Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, the Tribe’s last two major steps into the open market.
- Alex Avila’s pending free agency creates even more of an awkward position for both he and the Tigers now that his father Al is the team’s general manager, Fangraphs’ David Laurila writes. “No one doubts the professionalism of either Avila,” Laurila notes, though the catcher’s concussion history, lack of hitting and James McCann’s emergence hurts his case to return to Detroit. Though retirement isn’t necessarily in the cards for the younger Avila anytime soon, Laurila notes that Alex has been tabbed by many as a potential future manager or front office member once he calls it a career.
- In other Detroit front office news, Laurila also noted Sam Menzin’s promotion to the Tigers’ director of baseball operations and calls Menzin “a future GM.”
- Jose Berrios is performing well in Triple-A and, with the Twins’ rotation struggling, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that Minnesota could turn to its top pitching prospect. Twins assistant GM Rob Antony didn’t give any hints about a promotion, though he did praise Berrios and noted that the organization had no plans to shut the righty down as he approaches his career high in innings. The Twins picked Berrios 32nd overall in the 2012 draft, and he ranked highly in preseason prospect lists from MLB.com (32nd) and Baseball America (36th), as well as a bump up to 19th on BA’s midseason top 50 prospects list.