After predicting and second guessing myself multiple times in predicting the National League, it’s time to jump into the American League. Specifically the American League Central Division which, like the N.L East, might be the most gimmie division in the Major Leagues. At #1, we got the:
1. Cleveland Indians
Additions: Yonder Alonso
Departures: Carlos Santana, Jay Bruce, Bryan Shaw
The Indians, like in the couple of years past, should take the AL Central with ease. The only concern the Indians have now is what happens in the playoffs. With their recent offseason, there is no denying that the Indians have significantly weakened, They lost two major run producers and a major setup man in the bullpen.That might bite them in the butt later on during the year when having a bullpen maters most.
2. Minnesota Twins
Additions: Michael Pineda, Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney
Last year, the Twins completed arguably the biggest year to year turnaround. From a 100 plus loss season to a Wild Card team, the Twins are looking to move forward and possibly do better than last year, now that they know what to expect. The Twins added more pitching which was one of their weaknesses in years past and they added a closer, albeit a rather average one in Fernando Rodney. It’s still an improvement on the team last year. Expect the Twins to improve slightly this year, maybe win the Wild Card game. But they aren’t ready to take the division just yet.
3. Chicago White Sox
Additions: Welington Castillo, Joakim Soria, Miguel Gonzalez
The White Sox have a good young core but they need at least a couple more years to mature and to gain new players as they continue to grow into a legit team. Yoan Moncada and Matt Davidson just being a few important parts of that young core. Adding a bullpen and a legit catcher in Castillo should be an improvement to the White Sox squad. All that’s left is an ace that can accompany Lucas Giolito and company. Not a full blown tank, but expect a .500 season for the Southsiders.
4. Detroit Tigers
Additions: Mike Fiers
Departures: Ian Kinsler
The trade of Justin Verlander has solidified what this Tigers franchise wants to do in the near future. Simply put, it’s rebuilding times for the Detroit Tigers. With their ace being Michael Fulmer, a young pitcher who has had a good career but has struggled with injuries as well and an aging Miguel Cabrera that signals the end of an era for the Tigers team that once made it to the World Series so long ago. Don’t expect anything special from the Tigers this season, at least not for a while.
5. Kansas City Royals
Departures: Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Minor
And just like that, in one major sell off, the Royals are no more. The core that brought them to the World Series besides Salvador Perez is officially gone and within a few good year, they are right back to square one. The Royals will try to build off what they have on their roster for now, as it is a rebuilding season for Kansas City.