Here’s the latest from around the AL Central…
- The Twins will have representatives at Greg Holland’s showcase tomorrow, 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson reports (Twitter link). The Giants, Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox will also have scouts on hand at Holland’s showcase, while the Royals are also known to have interest in a reunion with their former closer and will probably also have personnel on hand. Holland missed all of 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery, though he is already drawing a lot of attention from both contenders and rebuilding clubs like Minnesota as an intriguing bounce-back candidate.
- The Twins are expected to heavily expand the baseball operations department under Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Minnesota had just 15 people working in baseball ops last year, as per the team’s press guide, while other teams had almost twice as many personnel working in a wide variety of roles. As you might expect given Falvey and Levine’s background with modern statistical analysis, the Twins’ analytics department is expected to receive particular attention.
- “White Sox GM Rick Hahn is open for business on just about his entire roster,” more than one general manager tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes noted in his recent Offseason Outlook piece about the Sox, the looming question over Chicago’s winter plans is whether the team intends to rebuild or try to contend in 2017, and Cafardo’s news would seem to hint at the former.
- With the Tigers looking to curb their free-spending ways, Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards explores the possibility of the team dealing Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander in a single blockbuster trade. This would allow the Tigers to reload on both payroll space and prospects for a quick return to contention by as soon as 2018. Assuming Verlander is willing to waive his no-trade protection, he’d get a lot of attention from other teams even with his big price tag ($84MM through 2019 and a $22MM vesting option for 2020) since starting pitching is so scarce this winter. As for Cabrera, who is coming off another tremendous season and is owed $220MM through 2023, Edwards writes that “the length of his contract means his trade value will never be higher than it is right now. Indeed, as soon as next season, he might be untradeable.” It’s a short list, of course, of teams that could afford to absorb Verlander and Cabrera’s deals even if Detroit kicked in some money; Edwards suggests that the Red Sox, Mariners, Rangers or Yankees could be fits.