AL Central Notes: Twins, Guardians, Blitzer, Ilitch, Tigers

MLB Trade Rumors

The bullpen will be a focus for the Twins heading into the trade deadline, even though “the reliever (trade) market is always the toughest one to navigate and always the toughest one to pin down,” chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman and other reporters.  “It all depends on what’s available, but this year we’ll be more open-minded to adding whatever what we think will be something that will help us more toward the middle or the back end, ideally.”

However, it doesn’t seem like a trade may come together quickly, as with a month still left before the trade deadline, Falvey noted that many teams still haven’t decided if they’ll be buying or selling.  “You can’t really accelerate that part of the conversation,” Falvey said.  “Sometimes it’s ’all right, we’ll wait and see, we’ll put you down as interested in Player X and we’ll circle back if we’re moving in that direction.’ ”  While the Twins could push the market with an aggressive offer, that only increases the risk of overpaying for a player now when they could get the same pitcher for less in a few weeks’ time.  Getting at least one of Emilio Pagan or Tyler Duffey pitching well would greatly help Minnesota’s bullpen and trade leverage, but until that happens, the club may need to continue to explore outside options.

More from around the AL Central…

  • The Guardians figure to make some middle-infield prospects available at the trade deadline, as The Athletic’s Zack Meisel writes that the club has such a surplus that some names will eventually need to be moved by this offseason at the latest.  In terms of deadline targets, Meisel figures Cleveland will look to add in the bullpen and perhaps at catcher, though the rotation (for the first time in a while) could also be an area of need.  Adding one more quality starter would help reinforce a rotation that has been only okay this season, rather than its normal above-average quality.
  • David Blitzer is now officially a minority owner of the Guardians, though GM Mike Chernoff told Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal and other reporters that “I wouldn’t expect our operating philosophy to change.  The industry economic model is what it is and so we know what our challenges are being a small market.  We don’t shy away from those at all.”  While the financial status quo will remain in place for now, it remains to be seen what could happen if Blitzer eventually becomes the Guards’ majority owner — in six years’ time, Blitzer has an option to buy a majority share of the franchise.
  • The Tigers have a disappointing 29-46 record, but owner Christopher Ilitch is still “very pleased with the progress” of his team.  “Despite a very slow start this season with our team, there’s actually some good progress happening with some of the young guys that have come up and developed and so on and so forth,” Ilitch told reporters, including Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press.  After years of rebuilding and a big offseason spending spree, the Tigers were expected to take a big step forward this season, but Ilitch sees these struggles as another natural part of “a process that takes time.”

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