Rest of the AL Central - how do we matchup?

So frequently we are on here debating who the Tigers need to sign or trade for to become top dogs again. We've heard the names we should get (Greinke, Garza) and we've heard the names to keep (Turner, Oliver... and any minor leaguer according to StephenGrosberg -- just kidding). Constantly discussing this has made me wonder -- how would we compare up to the other teams in the AL Central based on moves made so far this offseason. After looking it up and comparing what we've done compared to others I have to be honest, I'm liking our chances more and more

So what I've done is gone through and for the other four teams in our division I've made a spreadsheet listing notable players acquired, lost and re-signed this offseason. I've then created a list of what the starting 9 (in no particular order), rotation and bullpen currently looks like. This does not include all 40 players on the 40-man roster and will have some holes. This is just something we can take a look and get a better idea. If I have not listed contract details, it's because they have a minor league contract. And please, if you see any discrepancies or see someone that was left off, let me know.

Let's start off with the defending AL Central champs, the Minnesota Twins.

Notable players lost Notable players received Notable players re-signed
Jesse Crain FA (CHI 3yr/$13MM) Phil Dumatrait FA

Brian Fuentes FA Jim Hoey Trade (BAL)

Matt Guerrier FA (LAD 3yr/$12MM) Brett Jacobson Trade (BAL)

Carl Pavano FA Tsuyoshi Nishioka FA (3yr/$9MM)

Jim Thome FA

Jon Rauch FA

Nick Punto FA

Ron Mahay FA

Orlando Hudson FA (SD 2yr/$11.5MM)

Randy Flores FA

J. J. Hardy Trade (BAL)

Brandan Harris Trade (BAL)

Current everday lineup Current starting rotation Current bullpen
Delmon Young Francisco Liriano Matt Capps
Denard Span Scott Baker Joe Nathan
Michael Cuddyer Brian Duensing Jose Mijares
Danny Valencia Nick Blackburn Alex Burnett
Tsuyoshi Nishioka Kevin Slowey Jeff Manship
Alexi Casilla
Pat Neshek
Justin Morneau
Anthony Slama
Jason Kubel
Scott Diamond
Joe Mauer
Eric Hacker

Brett Jacobson


Ahh, look at all those free agents possibly gone creating possible holes in this team. Who am I kidding, don't they manage to pull it out every time?  As we can see, they have for sure lost 2 major components in their bullpen and their starting 2B and SS.

From what I've seen it's looking like more of that bullpen will be for sure gone as Fuentes, Rauch and Mahay are talking with multiple teams each. Thome is still out there and a possibility to go back as is Pavano.

Pavano seems to be the biggest name they will have lost if he does not sign again. He was excellent for them last year and will be missed. Other than that, the rotation is untouched. The bullpen will look much better if Nathan can come back and be the healthy Nathan before last year. If he does not, they will be in big trouble, I think. Hardy and Hudson will be replaced with Nishioka and Casilla. Don't know much about Nishioka but he cannot be worse than Hardy and I think Casilla is a minor down grade from Hudson. There have been rumors of Orlando Cabrera wanting to come back and he would be at least a minor upgrade to Casilla at second.

I would also be a little worried about Morneau. Him missing so much of the season last year thanks to concussion symptoms cannot be good. He will need to be there if the Twins want to make it further than they did last year.

Overall not much good has come for the Twinkies... yet. Still 3-4 months until Spring Training.

Next up, lets take a look at the evil Chicago White Sox.

Notable players lost Notable players received Notable players re-signed
J.J. Putz FA (ARI 2yr/$10MM) Kyle Cofield Trade (ATL) A.J. Pierzynski 2yr/$8MM
Freddy Garcia FA Adam Dunn FA (4yr/$56MM) Paul Konerko 3yr/$37.5MM
Manny Ramirez FA Jesse Crain FA (3yr/$13MM)

Mark Kotsay FA

Andruw Jones FA

Bobby Jenks FA (BOS 2yr/$12MM)

Erick Threets FA

Scott Linebrink Trade (ATL)

Current everday lineup Current starting rotation Current bullpen
Juan Pierre Mark Buerhle Matt Thorton
Alex Rios Gavin Floyd Tony Pena
Carlos Quentin John Danks Sergio Santos
Brent Morel Jake Peavy Lucas Harrell
Alexi Ramirez Edwin Jackson Gregory Infante
Gordon Beckham Chris Sale Jesse Crain
Paul Konerko

Adam Dunn

A.J. Pierzynski


Aside from the Tigers, they definitely made the biggest offseason moves in the Central. Signing Adam Dunn was huge for them. Losing Manny Ramirez, Mark Kotsay and for the most part Andruw Jones is nothing now that they have Dunn in the DH spot. He is going to be quite the slugger batting behind Konerko, who has resigned with the team for another three years (how wonderful...). Offensively nothing else has really changed. Instead of Vizquel, Tehean and Viciedo commanding 3rd base, they have Brent Morel, whom I've never heard of.

The rotation remains the same. That can be a very good rotation as long as Peavy can stay healthy. They have a lot to sort out with their bullpen. Losing your setup man and closer will hurt although Crain and Thorton should be be able to fill in quite nicely. I'd be a little worried if I were a ChiSox fan.

There have been rumors of the White Sox shopping Carlos Quentin and Edwin Jackson for payroll purposes. Might not be an all bad thing for them. If they have faith in Chris Sale to take over as the No. 5 starter, I'm sure they could get some cheap bullpen options for Edwin Jackson. Quentin's terrible defense will make him a little more difficult to trade, I think.

Next up is the young and inexperienced Cleveland Indians.

Notable players lost Notable players received Notable players re-signed

Luke Carlin FA Anthony Reyes FA

Adam Everett FA

Paul Philips FA

Jack Hannahan FA

Current everday lineup Current starting rotation Current bullpen
Michael Brantley Fausto Carmona Chris Perez
Grady Sizemore Justin Masterson Rafael Perez
Shin-Soo Choo Carlos Carrasco Tony Sipp
Jason Nix Mitch Talbot Frank Herrmann
Asdrubal Cabrera Josh Tomlin Joe Smith
Jason Donald Jeanmar Gomez Jensen Lewis
Matt LaPorta
Aaron Laffery
Travis Hafner
Vinnie Pestano
Carlos Santana

Not much to say here. If they stay healthy they have a decent shot at being a good offensive team. They have a young squad that has the talent to make a huge impact on a ball club (Santana, LaPorta, Choo, Brantley). Their big questions, and the key to them being successful, will be the health of Sizemore, Hafner and Santana. They will need all three of them to be healthy for the season to win a good amount of ball games.

Starting rotation is also very young and very unproven. Fausto is the ace of this team and could very well be traded in the not so distant future. There are teams inquiring on him, if the right deal comes along we all know the Indians will not hesitate to pull the trigger. See Victor Martinez, C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee. Like I said, not much to say about them.

Finally, lets get to the bottom dwelling Kansas City Royals.

Notable players lost Notable players received Notable players re-signed
David DeJesus Trade (OAK) Justin Marks Trade (OAK)

Josh Fields FA Vin Mazzaro Trade (OAK)

Brian Bannister FA Steven Shell FA

Bruce Chen FA Brett Carol FA

Philip Humbar Waivers Jeff Francoeur FA (1yr/$2.5MM)

Zack Greinke Trade (MW) Melky Cabrera FA (1yr/$1.25MM

Yuniesky Betancourt Trade (MW) Alcides Escboar Trade (MW)

Lorenzo Cain Trade (MW)

Current everday lineup Current starting rotation Current bullpen
Alex Gordon Luke Hochevar Joakim Soria
Melky Cabrera/Lorenzo Cain Kyle Davis Dusty Hughes
Jeff Francoeur Vin Mazzaro Blake Wood
Mike Aviles Sean O'Sullivan Jesse Chavez
Alcides Escobar Gil Meche/Jake Odorizzi Kanekoa Texeira
Chris Getz
Greg Holland
Kila Ka'aihue
Robinson Tejada
Billy Butler
Jeremy Jeffress
Jason Kendall
Gil Meche/Jake Odorizzi

Like the Indians, not much to really say. They signed Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, yay. They traded away the only other proven player on this team other than Billy Butler, David DeJesus, for a 2 rotation pitchers. Butler is still the only semi-scary hitter on this team and yet the Royals will constantly give us a run for our money.

Pitching. Greinke. I need to say nothing as I'm sure most to all comments (if there are any comments) will be why he needs to be a Tiger and how we will/can get him. Obviously no one in the rotation will be able to make up for the loss of Greinke, as not many pitchers in the league can. I think Mazzaro will at least ease the transition a tiny bit. They have Meche in the bullpen, but he can easily move over to the rotation when now that Greinke is has been traded. Outside of Soria, no one in the bullpen scares me.

EDIT: Just saw that Greinke has been traded to the Brewers. Suprises me. Definitely down grade to their rotation, no one in there scares me. They received a very nice shortstop in Alcidies Escboar. He can hit and field pretty good, it's a definite upgrade to Betancourt. They have also received Lorenzo Cain, who from what I hear/see is a very nice center fielder. He may or may not know Melky Cabrera out of CF to start the season. Also added two pitching prospects. Both I expect to make it to the major league roster almost immediately. Very suprising move.

So. Took a decent look at the teams we will see the most. We all know the deals the Tigers have made, how do you think we stack up against the competition? I'm thinking pretty good so far -- and that's without adding another pitcher.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.

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