AL Central Whiparound details latest moves made by teams in the division along with some recent rumors. How will this affect the White Sox?
The AL Central division just added a boomstick in Nelson Cruz. The Minnesota Twins and the free agent slugger reportedly agreed to a one-year deal on Thursday with a team option for the 2020 season.
With the White Sox being interested in many free agents, they saw a division rival add a power-hitting right-handed bat to its lineup for next season. The Sox were rumored to have been interested in signing Cruz, but he took $14 million guaranteed for 2019 to sign with the Twins.
The Twins finished this past season with a 78-84 record and 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians in AL Central division. After reaching the postseason in 2017 as a Wild Card with an 85-77 record, the Twins had an unsuccessful 2018 which led to the firing of manager Paul Molitor.
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Minnesota will look to bolster its roster with the addition of Cruz as they add a player that hit 163 home runs over the past four seasons with the Seattle Mariners. The Twins hit just 166 home runs as a team in 2018. This total will likely increase in 2019 with the addition of Cruz.
Cleveland Unlikely to Trade Top Pitchers
The Cleveland Indians had been rumored to be listening to trade offers for Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer this offseason. Well, now the team is rumored to not be interested in trading either pitcher. According to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, it’s unlikely the Indians will trade their top pitchers.
Kluber and Bauer are the two best starting pitchers the Indians have currently and trading either of these players would likely weaken Cleveland’s chances at contending in 2019. With the Indians reportedly not looking to trade either player, the Sox path to contention next season will be much harder. However, the Sox shouldn’t be expected to contend without making solid additions this offseason.