The Royals will be reluctant to invest significant money in an outfielder who’s on the wrong side of 30 over the winter, which makes a potential Lorenzo Cain exit seem more likely, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes. For his part, the 31-year-old Cain (32 next April) realizes his terrific tenure with the Royals could be on the verge of ending. “They all know where I stand as far as coming back to KC,” the impending free agent said. “They know I would love to come back here. I said it in the spring, and I’ll say it again now. But at the same time, everyone has to do what’s best for themselves. No one knows what’s going to happen.” Cain has been outstanding since debuting in earnest with the Royals in 2011, including this year (.301/.364/.442, 15 home runs, 26 stolen bases across 643 plate appearances), and was a key component of an AL pennant winner in 2014 and a World Series champion the next season.
More from the Central divisions:
- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway will be a popular managerial candidate in the coming weeks, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets. “He’s on everybody’s list,” one executive said of the 42-year-old Callaway, who has been the Tribe’s pitching coach since 2013 and is now in charge of arguably one of the best staffs in baseball history. If Callaway does become a manager in the offseason, it’ll be with the Phillies, Tigers or Mets, barring an unexpected firing elsewhere.
- Jose Martinez will have an opportunity to win the Cardinals’ first base job in 2018, manager Mike Matheny suggested to reporters, including Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on Saturday. “He’s going to fight for it. I don’t know why he couldn’t (be the regular first baseman),” said Matheny, who also named Luke Voit as a candidate for the role. The majority of the work at first this year has gone to franchise linchpin Matt Carpenter, but he could shift back to second/third base next season. Like Carpenter, Martinez has been one of the Cards’ top offensive players in 2017. In his first extensive action in the majors, the 29-year-old rookie has batted an excellent .306/.377/.517 with 14 home runs in 306 PAs. Voit, a 26-year-old rookie, has hit .252/.308/.441 in 120 PAs.
- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy will undergo surgery Tuesday to remove “loose bodies” from his elbow, per Dodd (Twitter link). Duffy landed on the disabled list Aug. 27 with an elbow impingement, though he did return in mid-September to make three more starts. In the first season of a five-year, $65MM contract extension, Duffy logged a 3.81 ERA over 146 1/3 innings, to go with 8.0 K/9 against 2.52 BB/9.
- The Tigers announced some additions to their scouting staff and analytics department on Friday, as Jason Beck of MLB.com details. Most notably, the Tigers promoted former utilityman Don Kelly to a full-time scouting role. An eighth-round pick of he Tigers in 2001, Kelly played in Detroit from 2009-14 and, upon his retirement last winter, joined its baseball department on a trial basis.