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AL Central Notes: Molitor, Royals, Minor, Fulmer, Greene, Tribe

The Twins haven’t had any talks with Paul Molitor about a contract extension, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.  Molitor exceeded expectations in his first year as a Major League manager, leading the Twins to a surprising 83-79 record.  There isn’t necessarily a lot of urgency to get a new deal done — not only is Molitor still under contract through the 2017 campaign, “the expectation at this point is that” the Twins will give Molitor “every opportunity to” continue managing, Berardino writes, especially as long as Terry Ryan is the GM.  Here’s some more from around the AL Central…

  • The Twins will likely wait to see how their bullpen situation develops in Spring Training before checking out any free agent relievers, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets.
  • Given how Ned Yost, Dayton Moore and J.J. Piccolo all have ties to the Braves, it’s maybe no surprise that the Royals have picked up so many former Atlanta pitchers as reclamation projects, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes.  Kris Medlen proved to be a very sound investment for K.C. last winter and now Peter Moylan and Mike Minor have both joined the Royals this offseason looking to re-establish their value. The ties between the pitchers themselves also played a role — Medlen and Moylan trained and rehabbed together in 2014 when both were recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • Minor said that pitching at Kauffman Stadium and the Royalsoffer of two guaranteed years were big reasons he signed with the team, the lefty tells Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).
  • Shane Greene’s first season with the Tigers was riddled with injuries, including a scary situation involving an aneurysm that caused blood clots in his fingers, ESPN’s Katie Strang writes.  Greene underwent shoulder surgery to address the problem in August, and while the blood clots have yet to dissolve (which may not happen for years), Greene said he’s feeling much better and is looking forward to competing for a spot in Detroit’s rotation.
  • Michael Fulmer drew heavy interest in trade talks this offseason, Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press reports, though the Tigers didn’t bite on dealing the highly-touted young righty.  It’s no surprise that GM Al Avila was keen to keep Fulmer, given that the right-hander was the centerpiece of the trade package received last summer for Yoenis Cespedes.
  • “The Indians are always sneaky about” working on contract extensions, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, so it wouldn’t surprise him if the Tribe inks at least one player to a multi-year deal this spring.  Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer make sense as possible extension candidates since both become arbitration-eligible next winter, and Hoynes also thinks the Tribe could extend Cody Allen.
  • Hoynes’ mailbag piece covers several other Indians-related topics, including Hoynes’ belief that the Tribe won’t exercise their $12MM club option on Carlos Santana for the 2017 season.  I tend to agree, unless Santana rebounds from something of a down year in 2015.