With half the league already profiled, we’ll turn our attention to the bullpens of the AL Central.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 26th, 2015
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Offseason acquisition Asdrubal Cabrera is eager to help the Tampa Bay Rays anyway he can, whether it’s at shortstop or second base. It’s not the same,” said Cabrera, who signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract as a free agent in January. The 29-year-old Venezuelan broke into the lineup with Cleveland as a second baseman early in his career, but would up spending most of his nearly seven seasons with the Indians as the club’s regular shortstop. ”We’re going to be versatile, and he’s going to be versatile – going back and forth, getting his work in at both spots,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said, adding there’s no definitive timetable for a decision.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 26th, 2015
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The Detroit Tigers had mild expectations for J.D. Martinez when they called him up from the minors early last season. ”We knew he had power,” manager Brad Ausmus said. After being signed by Detroit to a minor league deal in March, he eventually earned a spot on the big league roster and hit .315 with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs. The Astros released him last March, and after the Tigers picked him up, he began the year at Triple-A Toledo.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 25th, 2015
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The Boston Red Sox are all in on Cuba, with their pursuit of acclaimed prospect Yoan Moncada the latest example. Moncada’s representative, David Hastings, said Tuesday he is hopeful the contract with a $31.5 million signing bonus will be finalized by the end of the week. The cost for the Red Sox will double because of the tax for exceeding the international signing bonus pool, a provision in baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. ”With high-ceiling players, you have to take risks, especially on young players.” General manager Ben Cherington decline to confirm the agreement with Moncada, a switch-hitting, multi-skilled middle infielder who was heavily courted by multiple teams.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 25th, 2015
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Joba Chamberlain returned to Detroit’s spring training facility, not completely clean shaven, but without the scraggly, overgrown beard that made him so easily identifiable with the Tigers last season. They didn’t recognize who I was.” Chamberlain is back for a second season with Detroit after agreeing to a $1 million, one-year deal. The right-hander was a free agent this offseason, and although the Tigers ended up bringing him back, it doesn’t look like his role will be quite the same, at least initially. Chamberlain went 2-5 with a 3.57 ERA last year, but he struggled down the stretch, posting a 4.97 ERA after the All-Star break and allowing four earned runs over two postseason appearances.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 24th, 2015
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Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera says it’s too early to say whether he’ll be ready for opening day. Everybody that sees me, I want to be ready for opening day. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Cabrera said Monday. ”Let’s wait and see what happens.” Cabrera had offseason ankle surgery, but he says he hopes the hardest part of his recovery is over.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 24th, 2015
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Major League Baseball is slowly addressing the lagging pace of games. MLB and the players’ association announced an agreement Friday to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box in many cases. MLB also will post stadium clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks starting in spring training, and it no longer will require managers to always come onto the field when they request video reviews by umpires. Many of the more radical ideas experimented with during the Arizona Fall League were not adopted, such as a 20-second clock between pitches, a limitation of pitcher’s mound conferences involving catchers and managers, and no-pitch intentional walks.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 23rd, 2015
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For the Minnesota Twins, spring training has become a much fancier place. Renovations to Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers were ceremonially opened to the public on Sunday, as Twins standouts Joe Mauer, Glen Perkins, Brian Dozier and Torii Hunter posed for pictures and fans toured the spruced-up seating areas and added amenities. There’s new space for weight training and injury rehabilitation, too, which means no more golf-cart rides down the service road to pump iron at the minor league compound. For the Twins organization, though, the centerpiece of the nearly $50 million project was the minor league player development academy.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 23rd, 2015
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The difference is a subtle one, and it barely stands out to the untrained eye as Alex Avila sets up behind the plate at spring training. While preparing to receive a pitch, the Detroit catcher lowers one knee to the ground, a move the Tigers hope will help Avila avoid harmful foul tips by keeping his head lower. ”We get him lower, we’re hoping those foul tips are more of a glancing blow, or completely misses his mask all together.” The 28-year-old Avila has caught nearly 5,000 innings in his career, helping the Tigers to AL Central championships in each of the last four seasons, but that run of success has come with a cost. Avila has faced concussion problems over the last few years, and although he’s been cleared to keep playing, he’s also taking steps to protect himself.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 22nd, 2015
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Rather than proceed through the 2015 season with a degree of uncertainty surrounding its leadership, the Boston Red Sox have guaranteed stability by agreeing to contract extensions with manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington . The extensions were both learned on Saturday, though it’s reported Cherington’s new deal was finalized last season. As for Farrell, his extension comes on the heels of a disappointing 71-91 season that saw Boston finish last in the AL East, 25 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Of course, in Farrell’s first season in Boston in 2013, the Red Sox were crowned World Series champions, so a reprieve was in order.  [ Baseball is back! Check out Yahoo For Spring Training for great spring training pics. ] As you might recall, Farrell was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he accumulated a 154-170 over two seasons as manager, in a trade for infielder Mike Aviles. He replaced Bobby Valentine, who was an unmitigated disaster during his one season with Boston. The Red Sox finished 69-93 in 2012, a full 26 games behind the New York Yankees. Under Farrell, they jumped to 97 wins and then dispatched the Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals during the postseason. Farrell was to have one guaranteed year remaining on his contract entering 2015, with a club option for 2016. According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe , Farrell is now locked up through the 2017 season, with an option for 2018. Financial details were not revealed on Saturday, but the press conference did take an interesting turn when Cherington’s pre-existing extension was casually revealed.  

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on February 22nd, 2015
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