White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier is currently wearing a splint as he recovers from a sprained finger in his left hand, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (all Twitter links). Frazier first felt pain in his hand late in the season and experienced the issue again when he began his offseason workouts recently. He’s already had one MRI on the issue which appears to have checked out well, as Rosenthal adds that Frazier is expected to be ready for Spring Training. The injury hasn’t had any impact on the White Sox’ ability to trade Frazier this winter, per Rosenthal. It’ll be worth keeping in mind this spring and early in the season, though, as any lingering effects could impact Frazier’s performance and trade value as the year progresses.
A few more notes out of the AL Central…
- Tigers GM Al Avila told reporters, including Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, that Victor Martinez played much of the 2016 season with a small hernia that he had surgically repaired in October. Fenech writes that the umbilical hernia repair was less significant than the sports hernia/core muscle surgery that many players undergo each season, adding that Martinez was back at full strength just a couple weeks after the surgery. Avila stressed that V-Mart is 100 percent healthy, noting that the slugger is planning to play for Team Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Martinez is owed $18MM in each of the next two seasons — his age-38 and age-39 campaigns.
- The Indians are “scouring” the market and keeping an eye out for relievers, utility options and corner bats even after inking Austin Jackson to a minor league deal yesterday, Rosenthal tweets. Cleveland’s payroll is already at franchise-record level, and the 25-man roster looks to be largely rounded out, though there could be room on the fringes (e.g. the final bench spot or the final slot in the bullpen).
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke to Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey about switch-hitting outfielder/DH Robbie Grossman, who opened last season with the Indians in Triple-A but opted out in April to sign a deal with the Twins. Grossman went on to slash .280/.386/.443 in 389 plate appearances with Minnesota and was especially productive against left-handed pitching. Falvey, of course, was an assistant GM with Cleveland last year and offered praise for Grossman’s abilities as well as a hint about his role on the 2017 Twins. “We didn’t quite have the spot for him at the major league level, but I’m really happy about what panned out for him,” said Falvey. “…Robbie’s a guy that clearly, from the right side of the plate, has a chance to do some damage — real damage.” Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler figure to see the bulk of playing time in left and right field, but both are left-handed bats that struggled against left-handed pitching last season, which could lead to a platoon arrangement of sorts in 2017.