Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Taking a look at the news around the American League Central division.
The Tiger won the AL Central last season, and went on to make it all the way to the World Series. The Royals and Indians both made major additions to their teams and could pose threats to them in 2013, which makes this a very interesting division. Let's take a look at what they have been up to.
Giambino to claim bench role?
Jason Giambi is reportedly a near-lock to make the Indians Opening Day roster, which may come as a bit of surprise to anyone who wrote the 41-year old off. Giambi was a finalist for the Rockies managerial opening last fall, so it makes it even more surprising to see him as a favorite for the bench spot.
Giambi should provide the Indians with some pop off the bench, as well as some veteran leadership in the clubhouse. Manager Terry Francona mentioned in the article that the left-handed hitter has a good presence about him, and that he has a good pitch selection.
Royals search outfield market
The Royals are searching the outfield market for potential solutions, according to reports. The team currently has sub-replacement level Jeff Francoeur in right, who could easily be replaced and likely upgraded on. The team of course traded Wil Myers to the Rays as part of the James Shields trade.
The most infuriating part of this for me, is that the Royals had a great option in WIl Myers, but decided that they would be best-served trading him for Shields. Don't get me wrong, Shields is a heck of a pitcher, but I don't see why they would create one gaping hole to partially fill another.
More Royals: All Royals under contract
Tigers still not interested in closers
Despite their apparent lack of a closer, the Tigers are not interested in closers. They appear content on going into the season with rookie-fireballer Bruce Rondon in the closer slot, which very well may be a good solution for the problem. He struggles with his command, but that is a worthwhile trade-off for the strikeouts he will bring to the table in high-leverage spots.
For me, reliever performance is so volatile that it doesn't make sense to splurge for a big free agent closer, as you likely won't get what you're paying for. I applaud Detroit for standing their ground and going into the season with what they have. Worst-case scenario, they could just sign someone in April.