What if I were to tell you the American League Central was the best division in baseball? Would you immediately punch me in my face, or would to take the time to stop and think about it? Let's list off the teams and play a little game. The game goes like this, bet your life savings on whether the team is more likely than not to contend for the postseason. Contention is defined as staying within the first place team by three games or less through September 1st.
Here we go:
White Sox - Yes
Tigers - Yes
Indians - Yes
Royals - Yes
Twins - No
Obviously, four teams can't make the playoffs out of the division, but you get my point. Four out of the five teams in the division could be contenders. With that little bit of knowledge, let's check out today's news and notes:
Come Sale away
Queue up the Styx and just let the wonder of soft 70's rock take you away. Actually, stop that right now and pay attention. The White Sox have extended Chris Sale to what seems to be a team-friendly deal.
- Our own Nathan Aderhold has his reservations about patting the White Sox on the back in congratations of a job well-done. He brings up the valid point of injury concerns that may plague Sale.
- In case you were curious about the details of the actual contract, you can find that here. Sale is signed for five guaranteed years worth $32.5 million.
- Jim Margalus of South Side Sox took a look at the relatively new GM in Chicago, Rick Hahn, and determined the Sale extension as the first shot at long-term fortune.
Why can't you just be happy, Detroit? You've got a good team, just be happy. Why can't you be content? I guess it could be because content does not lead to contention. The Tigers are always looking to get better, even if that means trading away some good young talent.
- Both Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly have been the source of numerous trade rumors of late. The Tigers seem to be serious about listening to offers on both pitchers, but Blaine Blontz suggests that Smyly may be the better option for whatever team potentially lands him.
- There's so much news bouncing around the sporting world, it's hard to keep up. That's why Melissa Heyboer of Bless You Boys rounded up all the rumors and news surrounding Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.
- THe Rangers have been hit by injuries already. That's why they are seriously looking at both Porcello and Smyly. However, James Schmehl of MLive.com says Martin Perez's injury has the Rangers seriously considering Porcello.
Baseball Nation: Chris Sale taking his money
No, I am not writing about Justin Morneau because of his amazing first name. The fact is, he has been the source of some legitimate trade rumors. He's a talented first baseman that could garner interest if he stays healthy. And, he has an amazing first name.
- While the Twins aren't going to move Morneau anytime soon, he could be a mid-season trade candidate. The Twins are looking to get anything back on him they can considering he is in his walk year. Minnesota does not figure to re-sign Morneau after the season.
- However, Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 says Morneau would have to be crushing it to see any real interest. He has had so many injury concerns, teams may shy away from him as a real mid-season rental candidate. Morneau would need to prove he can turn a season around or push a mediocre team into the postseason for a trade to happen says Mackey.