The latest from the majors’ Central divisions…
- Reds president Dick Williams acknowledged on Tuesday that his team has had trade talks with the Dodgers, though he added that no deal is close, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com tweets. “We’ve had conversations with the Dodgers and there have been a variety of permutations,” Williams said. “I’m not going to get into what we’ve talked about.” Reds right-hander Homer Bailey and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig have reportedly been among the names bandied about in those discussions.
- The Twins have interest in free-agent pitchers Yusei Kikuchi, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports. They’re unlikely to “make a serious bid” for Kikuchi, though, Neal writes. As for the two relievers, the Twins are more interested in Allen than Miller, whose injury issues have led to some concern from Minnesota, per Neal. Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey was in the Indians’ front office in 2016 when Allen and Miller formed one of the most dominant late-game tandems in baseball. Now, both Allen and Miller are coming off underwhelming seasons in Cleveland.
- More from Neal, who reports that Twins slugger Miguel Sano has switched representation to Cobb Eddy Sports Group just in time for his first trip through arbitration. The 25-year-old third baseman is set to go through the process at an inopportune time, having turned in a stunningly poor 2018 performance after earning an All-Star nod the previous season.
- Indians president Chris Antonetti told longtime second baseman Jason Kipnis after the season that he’s likely to be an outfielder in 2019, Ryan Lewis of Ohio.com tweets. Kipnis, 31, totaled 173 innings in the outfield from 2017-18, during which his offensive numbers dropped to career-worst levels. Thanks to Kipnis’ decline at the plate, not to mention the guaranteed $17MM left on his contract, he has come up in trade rumors this offseason. Regardless of whether Kipnis goes, it seems the Indians are poised to enter 2019 with superstar Jose Ramirez at second base and Yandy Diaz at third.
- Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn’t have a contract beyond next season, but he told Patrick Mooney of The Athletic and other reporters on Tuesday that his uncertain future doesn’t faze him. “I’ve been there before. It’s all good. I am not offended. I get it. I’m excited,” said Maddon, who may lose his right-hand man, bench coach Brandon Hyde, to the Orioles. Either way, the soon-to-be 65-year-old Maddon will try to help the Cubs to a fifth straight playoff berth next season.