What's Been Going on in the AL Central?

The Twins certainly are leaving a lot to be desired this offseason, aren't they?  Our enemies in the Central (along with the Royals), however, have been relatively active thus far, and as something to occupy time until pitchers and catchers report, we'll do a quick rundown of what's been going on since baseball ended in October.

Cleveland Indians (Indigenous Peoples)

Cleveland's been almost as quiet as the Twins have this offseason (but somehow, quiet in a worse way).  On December 27, the Indians outrighted right-handed pitcher Justin Germano to AAA Columbus.  He can choose to stay with the Indians, but don't be too surprised if he looks at other options.  (Let's Go Tribe)

The Indians also signed Austin Kearns to a 1 yr. deal for $1.3 million.  The outfielder did pretty well for the Indians last year, but will most likely be the 4th man in the OF this year.  If for some reason Grady Sizemore needs more time to heal from his surgery, Kearns will probably be seeing much more playing time.  Last year he hit .272/.354/.419 in 342 at bats.  (Transactions: Kearns Returns)

That's most of the important major league information out of Cleveland.  They've made some minor league moves, but to avoid a short novel being written on the AL Central, we're sticking with the bigs.


Kansas City Royals (LOLRoyals)

Let me begin by saying: if you don't read Royals Review regularly, you should start reading Royals Review regularly. They're funny, knowledgeable, and continue to love the Royals, despite all sorts of logic saying they shouldn't.  That said, a quick look at what the Royals have been up to so far...

Obviously, everyone knows the Royals traded Zack Greinke (and Yuniesky Betancourt, lest you forget!) to the Brewers for  Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Ordorizzi.  What a haul there.  I feel bad for Royals fans, but at some point, you just have to expect things like this to happen, which leads us to...

The Royals signed Jeff Francoeur.  OF COURSE the Royals signed Jeff Francoeur.  The fine folks at Royals Review are pretty thrilled about that one too, in case you were wondering. 

The Royals also traded David DeJesus to the A's for Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks.  Both are minor league pitchers with not-very-spectacular numbers.  This was probably a salary dump for the Royals (DeJesus is set to make $6 million in 2010 with a nagging wrist injury), but geez.  Rough offseason so far for Royals fans.  

Oh, and: they also signed Melky Cabrera, because really...why not?


Chicago White Sox (Pale Hose, Enemy #1)

Oh, where to begin with the Sox.... I will freely admit, they have me a little concerned about how next year's standings will end up.  They've made some big moves and acquisitions, and they look to have another year of a pretty good rotation (if they can stay healthy, of course).  The White Sox have also been in the news for a little non-baseball related drama...

Well, let's just get this out of the way right now: the Sox signed Jesse Crain to a 3 year, $13 million deal.  While that's a lot of money (and a lot of years) for who we've lovingly come to know as Crainwreck, this move certainly makes the Sox bullpen better.  Unless, you know, that whole Crainwreck thing happens.  Either way, Crain will now be regarded as a dirty, cheating traitor.  We'll miss you, Jesse!

The Sox also signed Adam Dunn to a 4yr/$56 million deal.  This seems like a lot of money and years again, but whatever.  I'm sure there's a great plan behind all of these moves.  Dunn will be a good bat for Chicago, making their lineup pretty strong (still old, but strong nonetheless). 

Chicago decided to exercise their option for Alexei Ramirez, get rid of Bobby Jenks (more on him in a bit), re-sign AJ Pierzynski (2yrs/$8 million), kept Paul Konerko for another few years (3yrs/$37.5 million), and also got rid of Scott Linebrink (something, oddly enough, the Sox fans weren't too broken up about).

The last bit we'll go over with the Sox is a lot less baseball, a lot more drama.  Bobby Jenks did an interview with a writer from the MLB, where he kind of, in a roundabout way, called out Ozzie for his less-than-stellar managerial skills at times.  Ozzie's son Oney took exception to what Jenks said, and made several extraordinarily inappropriate comments on twitter.  Oney mentioned Jenks' drinking problems, marital issues, and then called him a "yellow beard dipping idiot".  While all of that is really, really inappropriate for Oney to share, I will have to say, I kiiind of laughed at the "yellow beard dipping idiot" part.  This story has a link to all the tweets.  It'll give you something to do while you wait for February.


Detroit Tigers (Los Tigres)

The Tigers have made a couple fairly solid moves to improve so far this offseason.  The past few years, the Tigers seem to have the potential to really ruin the Twins' season, so until they're actually eliminated from playoff contention, I wouldn't count them out.  

One of the first big moves in the Central this offseason was the Tigers' signing of Victor Martinez.  They'll be paying him $50 million over 4 years, which again-what is up with the years/money for older players?!  Anyway, it'll be fun to be able to run on the Tigers finally, as Gerald Laird seemed to not allow that as much.  

The Tigers also signed RHP Joaquin Benoit to a 3yr/$16.5 million deal.  Probably a good move, and it gives the Tigers more options with their rotation next year.  They'll have interesting pitching for a while, I think.

Lastly, the Tigers non-tendered RHP Zach Miner, or as you may better remember him, the pitcher that gave up O-Cab's home run in Game 163.  Those were good times, weren't they?  

Oh, and: Detroit re-signed Magglio Ordonez to a 1yr/$10 million deal.  Meh.  He hits us well, so yayyy, glad he's back in the AL Central.  #thinlyveiledsarcasm


Hopefully the Twins will decide to make a big splash or two so the other sites have something to update about soon.  If not, we'll just commiserate about the loss of J.J. Hardy some more.  Happy New Year, Twinkie Town!

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