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Rival Roundup, Vol. 18: Lavarnway or the Harnway

Yes, I know that’s Michael Kopech.

Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Well, well, well. It’s you again. You just can’t get enough, can you? You seamheaded gluttons.

Chicago White Sox

  • With the commencement of spring training, speculation shifts from player acquisition from player usage. One of the key storylines regarding usage this year revolves around Michael Kopech, who hasn’t seen regular-season action since 2018, but remains one of Chicago’s bright young pitching building blocks.

Cleveland Drought Champions

  • That’s a wrap on Cody Allen’s career, according to a report from Jon Heyman earlier this week.
  • It was Andrew Miller who the spotlight during the 2016 postseason, as he and manager Terry Francona helped bring new-age bullpen management into the mainstream. But Allen was a seminal part of that pennant-winning bullpen; holding down a 2.67 ERA for the first six years of his career, he was untouchable during the ‘16 playoffs, not allowing a single run and finishing out eight games in ten appearances.
  • In other aging Cleveland reliever news, the team handed out a non-roster invitation to old friend Blake Parker, the 36-year-old righty who was incredibly on the Twins during MLB’s last full season. To me, he seems more like a Kevin Jepsen-era guy, but a Bomba Squad figure he was. If Parker still has some gas, he’ll likely be a good piece in the Cleveland pitching system.
  • 16-year veteran Oliver Perez is also back on a minor-league deal; he’s spent the last three of his seasons at Progressive Field. So is Ryan Lavarnway, who has played in 10 different major-league seasons and has slightly more than three years’ service time.

Detroit Tigers

  • Wily Peralta is not only notably still playing major-league baseball, he’s only 31 and he’ll be trying his luck in spring camp with the Tigers. Last seen with the ‘19 Royals, the righty sandwiched a 3.67 ERA in ‘18 with two seasons featuring brutally high earned run averages and unflattering FIPs. Still, his veteran know-how may wind up giving a boost to some of Detroit’s younger, more exciting arms.
  • Another veteran arm is off to Detroit camp in the person of Julio Teheran, who was a potential Twins target not that long ago, and is now on a minor-league deal with one of the less competitive teams in the American League. Posting a 10.05 ERA and -0.8 fWAR in 31.1 pandemic-era innings did not help.

Kansas City Royals