Crown Gems: AL Central News and Other Notes

The non-tender news is coming in at a fairly good clip this evening.  To prevent duplication, I’m going to wait until tomorrow to publish some thoughts on who was let go.  Until then, however, there are a few AL Central items worth mentioning, and a few other random things as well.

  • One of my all time favorite (insert sarcastic chuckle here) players, Tony Pena Jr. (28) signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Friday.  The relief pitcher chapter of his baseball career will continue though I find it hard to believe it is going to go on much longer.  Then again, he has already done more as a pitcher than I thought possible.  In the Dominican Winter League he has a 5.14 ERA to go along with 13 H, 6 BB, and 12 SO in 14.0 innings.  Pena Jr. isn’t exactly dominating, but we should all keep in mind that he has been a reliever, and not a SS, for less than half a year.  I’m glad the TPJ experiment has moved on to a different organization, but in an odd sort of way I am pulling for him.
  • RHP-Eulogio De La Cruz (25), who I wrote about on Wednesday, is rumored to be on his way to Japan.  He is expected to sign with the Yakult Swallows.
  • In a bit of a surprise, the Tampa Bay Rays just resigned C-Dioner Navarro (25) to a 1-year $2.1 million contract.
  • MLB Trade Rumors provided a concise recap of all of the moves that occurred during the 2009 Winter Meetings this week.
  • Baseball America provided a complete recap of all the players selected in Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft.
  • The Chicago White Sox signed RHP-J.J. Putz (32) to a 1-year $3 million contract.  The deal allows him to earn another $3.25 million incentives, with $3 million of that based on the number of games he finishes this season.  Despite J.J.’s deal, RHP-Bobby Jenks (28) will reportedly remain the team’s closer in 2010.  Chicago also joined the “list” of teams to have interest in Yankees CF-Brett Gardner (26).  The other team on that list is, of course, the Royals.
  • With the 5th pick in the Rule-5 draft, the Cleveland Indians plucked RHP-Hector Ambriz (25) out of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.  I doubt the selection eased the concern surrounding Wednesday’s news that C-Carlos Santana (23) and RHP-Adam Miller (25) both underwent surgical procedures.  Heading into the 2009 season, Baseball America ranked Santana the Indians #1 prospect with Miller ranked at #4.  Yesterday, Cleveland was rumored to have interest in former Tigers OF/DH-Marcus Thames (32).
  • The Detroit Tigers designated RHP-Freddy Dolsi (26) for assignment on Thursday.  Wednesday, the team was reportedly looking to move Carlos Guillen (34) in a deal that would bring OF-Juan Pierre (32) back in return.  That same day, they signed RHP-Ruddy Lugo (29) to a minor league contract.
  • The Minnesota Twins, are willing to listen on offers for 2B-Alexi Casilla (25), according to a tweet by Star Tribune writer LaVelle E. Neal III.  This evening the team acquired RHP-Chris Province (24) from the Red Sox as the PTBNL in the Boof Bonser trade.
  • As far as the Kansas City Royals are concerned, they signed C-Jason Kendall (which I wrote about at length this afternoon).  I bring up our new catcher again because I wanted to drop a link to this.  Yesterday the team also signed LHP-Bruce Chen (32), RHP-Devon Lowery (26), LHP-Adam Bostick (26), RHP-Francisco Rosario (29), and 1B-Ernesto Mejia (24).  C-Vance Wilson (36) was also part of the press release even though it was originally reported that he signed at the end of November.
  • Looking forward to the 2010 Draft?  Baseball Beginnings published scouting videos on OF-Angelo Gumbs, Torrance (CA) HS, and INF-Kris Bryant, Bonanza (NV) HS.  They also published a scouting report on C-Stefan Sabol, Aliso Niguel (CA) HS.
  • Are you a Kansas City Chiefs fan who likes to write?  If so, Arrowhead Addict is looking for a new lead blogger to take the reigns of a truly excellent site.
  • I’ll close with this piece of news that the 2011 MLB Season Opener could be played in Rome.

Tags: Adam Bostick Adam Miller AL Central Alexi Casilla Baseball Bobby Jenks Brett Gardner Bruce Chen Carlos Guillen Carlos Santana Chicago White Sox Chris Province Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Devon Lowery Dioner Navarro Ernest Mejia Eulogio De La Cruz Francisco Rosario Freddy Dolsi Hector Ambriz J.J. Putz Juan Pierre Kansas City Royals KC Marcus Thames Minnesota Twins MLB Royals Ruddy Lugo Tony Pena Jr Vance Wilson

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