Some rumblings from the AL Central…
- Reports surfaced a few weeks ago that the Twins “kicked the tires” on Josh Donaldson and other third basemen, and La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that the Twins have continued to show interest in Donaldson’s services. With Anthony Rendon now wearing Angels red, Minnesota will face some stiff competition for the best third baseman remaining on the market, as the Rangers and Nationals are among the clubs who are reportedly set to redirect their efforts towards signing Donaldson are coming up short on Rendon.
- The White Sox have met with Edwin Encarnacion’s agents, 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine reports (Twitter link). After already adding Yasmani Grandal and Nomar Mazara, signing Encarnacion would add even more pop to Chicago’s lineup, as he would pair with Jose Abreu (and Grandal, on days when Grandal isn’t catching) in the first base/DH mix. The Blue Jays are the only other team known to have some interest in Encarnacion this offseason, though Levine reports that Encarnacion’s camp has also met with two other teams, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that Encarnacion has received interest from six clubs overall — five in the American League and one in the National League. The mystery NL team made Encarnacion an offer, according to Heyman, though the veteran slugger has said he would prefer to remain in the AL.
- The Tigers are one of the teams interested in Travis Shaw, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports (via Twitter). Shaw was non-tendered by the Brewers last week, as Shaw’s disastrous 2019 season left Milwaukee wary of paying the infielder a projected $4.7MM arbitration salary. In 2017-18, however, Shaw hit .258/.347/.497 with 63 homers over 1193 PA for the Brew Crew, so he could be an intriguing buy-low candidate for several clubs. In particular, a rebuilding team like Detroit could certainly see the rebound potential in Shaw, who can play either corner infield position and also has experience at second base.
- Tigers GM Al Avila provided reporters (including MLB.com’s Jason Beck) with an update on right-hander Michael Fulmer, who is “on track” in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and “should be able to pitch in games sometime in July.” Fulmer underwent his procedure last March, so a July return would be slightly beyond the normal 12-15 month timeframe for TJ patients, though not by any unusual amount.