Here’s the latest from around the AL Central…
- White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf issued an official statement regarding the Adam LaRoche retirement controversy, noting that this will be the last public discussion of the matter by any White Sox employee. Reinsdorf expressed his respect for LaRoche and his full confidence in the White Sox management team. “I do not believe there is anyone to directly blame in this situation. While there is no doubt this might have been handled differently, the fact remains that this is an internal matter that we have discussed and now resolved,” Reinsdorf said, also noting that he felt “much of this was a result of miscommunication and misunderstanding rather than this being a case of anyone not telling the truth.”
- Marlon Byrd’s minor league contract with the Indians has up to $2.5MM available in incentives, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports (Twitter link). The veteran outfielder will earn a base salary of $1MM if he makes the Tribe’s big league roster.
- Ross Ohlendorf can opt out of his minor league deal with the Royals today, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. If the team wants to keep the veteran righty, it will have to put him on the 40-man roster. Ohlendorf posted good results in 19 1/3 innings of the Rangers bullpen last season, though his path to a similar role in K.C. could be difficult given the number of other good arms in the Royals’ relief corps.
- “It’s a possibility” that Victor Martinez may not be ready for Opening Day, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters (including MLB.com’s Cash Kruth). Martinez hasn’t appeared in a game since straining his left hamstring on Monday. Ausmus said the veteran slugger could swing a bat tomorrow for the first time since the injury, though “we’ve got to wait and see.”
- As David Ortiz enters his final season, the Twins’ infamous decision to release the slugger in 2002 is revisited by Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Twins GM Terry Ryan took responsibility for the release, calling it “a very bad baseball decision. We thought we had better options. We were wrong in a big way.” Ortiz is still dismayed about his treatment with the Twins organization, noting that the focus always seemed to be on his shortcomings rather than the positives he could bring in the form of his power bat.