There was plenty of news on the baseball front today as the GM Meetings got the offseason going in earnest. If you’re interested in learning about the top free agents available, be sure to check out MLBTR’s annual ranking of the top fifty — with salary and signing predictions. And for those who’ve already given that a look, give a listen to the recent edition of The Ringer’s “The MLB Show” podcast with Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann, in which MLBTR’s own Tim Dierkes joined to break down the coming hot stove season.
Here’s the latest from the AL Central:
- The Twins have expressed interest in catcher Jason Castro as the offseason gets underway, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports. Minnesota’s new-look front office will sit down with Castro’s representatives tomorrow at the GM Meetings, per the report. The 29-year-old Castro is a well-regarded pitch framer who delivers some power from the left side, though his limited on-base ability saps much of his offensive value. There figure to be quite a few teams with interest in the veteran backstop, as a number of organizations will be looking to shore up their mix behind the plate.
- As the Twins seek to build around a core of young talent that is largely already in place, the organization hopes to find some veteran pieces to supplement that group, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune writes. Levine spoke of the need for “clubhouse ambassadors,” explaining that elder statesmen help get the best out of a team’s in-prime players. Precisely how this interest will be manifested in the team’s offseason plans remains to be seen, and major splashes can probably be ruled out, but it seems that Minnesota could look to supplement its roster via free agency.
- While Brian Dozier represents an excellent trade chip for the Twins, at least in theory, Berardino explains that it may not be as easy to achieve value for him as might be expected. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine both discussed the team’s best player in 2016, noting that despite his monster season, the second base position is well-stocked leaguewide. While there would certainly be interest in a player who Levine says is viewed “with a ton of respect” by the incoming brass, the Twins may not have an opportunity to start a bidding war for his services in hopes of finding an overwhelming return.
- The Indians did not acquire ace reliever Andrew Miller with thoughts of flipping him this winter, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said today, and the team doesn’t intend to change that approach now. (Via Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, on Twitter.) Miller’s exploits are well-documented, and his market value already evident in the price that Cleveland paid to acquire him. While it is surely tempting for the team to consider seeking to recoup some of its investment to fill other needs, it seems that it will instead continue to deploy Miller as a high-leverage force.
- Unsurprisingly, Royals GM Dayton Moore said today that his club isn’t likely to do much of significance on the open market, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. “I don’t look for us to be real aggressive with free agents,” he said. “Just because we’re not going to be in a position to add significant payroll — if any, at all, at this point.” Still, the team is interested in pursuing a reunion with Kendrys Morales after passing on a chance to make him a qualifying offer. That seems unlikely unless his market fails to develop — or if the team finds a way to make the salary fit.