Some news and notes from around the AL Central…
- The departures of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton haven’t led to more trades of veterans for the White Sox, though GM Rick Hahn won’t rush the rebuilding process, he tells reporters (including CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine). “If we had our druthers, we would continue to make transactions like the Eaton and Sale deals in rapid succession,” Hahn said. “Our desire is to get through this process and build a sustainable core of talented players as soon as possible. Our desire and impatience is not going to dictate this market and the schedule of these moves. The timing of these moves will be based upon the market and our ability to get the right value in these trades.” Hahn said he remains in talks with other teams and it is possible the Sox could make another deal before either Spring Training opens or before Opening Day.
- The Brian Dozier trade speculation may not be finished yet, as Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told reporters (including Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press) that “You can’t rule out anything. We constantly need to stay open-minded to potential opportunities to add value.” That being said, Falvey also added that “as it stands, Brian is here today and we’re excited to have him as part of the Twins family.” Minnesota reportedly asked teams to make their final offers for Dozier at the start of January and a heavily-rumored trade with the Dodgers failed to materialize and L.A. instead acquired Logan Forsythe to play second base. Since Dozier is under contract for two more seasons at (given his production) a bargain price, the Twins aren’t under much pressure to trade him immediately.
- Mike Napoli could be a good fit for a Twins team looking for both veteran leadership and another bat, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman opines. Napoli could split time with Joe Mauer at first base and DH, and Heyman notes that Napoli has past ties to both GM Thad Levine and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey. This is just my speculation, but I’m not sure if Napoli would be interested in joining a team that isn’t close to contention, though obviously Napoli’s priorities might change the longer he remains unsigned.
- The Indians moved out of their usual financial comfort zone to sign Edwin Encarnacion, though owner Paul Dolan tells MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian that signing Encarnacion was easier than the decision to give up several highly-regarded prospects to acquire Andrew Miller at the trade deadline. “The cost of Andrew Miller was talent. And that’s not in our DNA, to give up that kind of talent for somebody like that,” Dolan said. “I suppose contracts like Encarnacion are not in our DNA, either. But, it was the right time for us, and we felt it was the right time to reach.”