New York- The countdown is on for Opening Day. Latino Sports has started to preview each MLB division to refresh your memory on each team’s offseason moves through free agency and trades. Today, we will go into depth on the American League Central. Facing off in this division are numerous All-Star names such as Twins, Carlos Correa, Royals, Salvador Pérez and of course, 2012 Triple Crown winner, Tigers, Miquel Cabrera. Not to mention the 2020 AL MVP, White Sox, José Abreu and 2020 AL Cy Young winner, Guardians, Shane Bieber. The anticipation is on for the AL Central.
The Tigers and Twins were teams who made splashes in free agency this offseason. To begin, Detroit signed shortstop Javier Báez to a six-year contract totaling $140 million. With a similar move, the Twins came to terms on a three-year contract, with shortstop Carlos Correa averaging $35.1 million per season. Both Minnesota and Detroit look to dethrone the AL Central from the White Sox. Chicago won the division by a wide double-digit game margin last season.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
2021 Record: 93-69, Won the AL Central
2021 Result: Lost in ALDS to Houston Astros (3-1)
WHITE SOX OFFSEASON
Key Departures: Free-agent pitcher, Carlos Rodón (Giants), Free-agent pitcher, Ryan Tepera (LA Angels), Free-agent outfielder, Billy Hamilton, Traded pitcher, McKinley Moore (Phillies), Club-optioned second baseman, César Hernández (Nationals)
Key Additions: Signed pitcher, Kendall Graveman (Astros), Signed infielder, Josh Harrison (Athletics), Signed pitcher, Joe Kelly (LA Dodgers), Signed pitcher, Vince Valesquez (Padres), Acquired outfielder, Adam Haseley (Phillies)
Eloy Jiménez – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Right-handed slugger, Jiménez contains incredible power to all parts of the field. In 55 games played last season, he hit 10 home runs with 37 runs batted in. The 25-year olds main concern from here on out is remaining healthy. 26 of his 37 runs batted in were with runners in scoring position. When Jiménez is in the lineup, he delivers for the White Sox on various occasions.
2021 Record: 80-82, 2nd in AL Central
2021 Result: Failed to make postseason
Key Departures: Traded outfielder, Harold Ramirez (Cubs), Traded pitcher, J.C. Mejia (Brewers), Waiver-claim pitcher, Scott Moss (Phillies) Free-agent pitcher, Blake Parker, Free-agent catcher, Wilson Ramos
Key Additions: Signed catcher, Luke Maile (Brewers), Acquired infielder, David Fry (Phillies), Acquired pitcher, Tobias Myers (Rays)
José Ramírez – Baní, Dominican Republic
José Ramírez 2021 Regular Season Statistics (152 games):
36 home runs, 103 runs batted in, 147 hits, .355 on base percentage
José Ramírez is a finalist for the 32nd Annual Latino Sports American League MVP Award.
2021 Record: 77-85, 3rd in AL Central
2021 Result: Failed to make postseason
Key Departures: Free-agent pitcher, Derek Holland (Red Sox), Free-agent pitcher, Jose Urena (Brewers), Free-agent pitcher, Julio Teheran, Traded third baseman, Nick Quintana (Reds)
Key Additions: Signed shortstop, Javier Baez (Mets), Signed pitcher, Eduardo Rodriquez (Red Sox), Signed pitcher, Andrew Chafin (Athletics), Acquired catcher, Tucker Barnhart (Reds), Signed pitcher, Michael Pineda (Twins)
Gregory Soto – Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic
Detroit finished seventh in most saves across MLB last season, thanks to left-hander Gregory Soto. He completed 18 saves in 63.2 innings pitched with 76 strikeouts. Along with his first All-Star appearance, Soto earned himself a spot as a finalist for the 2021 Latino Sports American League Relief/Closing Pitcher Award.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
2021 Record: 74-88
2021 Result: 4th in AL Central
Key Departures: Free-agent pitcher, Greg Holland (Rangers), Free-agent pitcher, Ervin Santana, Free-agent pitcher, Wade Davis, Free-agent pitcher, Jesse Hahn, Traded pitcher, Mike Minor (Reds)
Key Additions: Signed pitcher, Zack Greinke (Astros), Acquired pitcher, Amir Garret (Reds), Signed pitcher, Taylor Clarke (Diamondbacks)
Salvador Pérez 2021 Regular Season Statistics (161 games):
.273 batting average, 48 home runs, 121 runs batted in, 169 hits
From Valencia, Venezuela, Salvador Peréz is a finalist for the 2021 Latino Sports AL Most Valuable Player Award.
2021 Record: 73-89
2021 Result: Last place in AL Central
Key Departures: Free-agent pitcher, Michael Pineda (Tigers), Free-agent shortstop, Andrelton Simmons (Cubs), Mutual-Club Option pitcher, Alex Colomé (Rockies), Traded third baseman, Josh Donaldson (NY Yankees), Traded catcher, Ben Rortvedt (NY Yankees), Traded pitcher, Chase Petty (Reds), Traded 1B/C, Mitch Garver (Rangers)
Key Additions: Signed shortstop, Carlos Correa (Astros), Signed pitcher, Dylan Bundy (LA Angels), Signed pitcher, Chris Archer (Rays), Signed pitcher, Joe Smith (Mariners), Acquired pitchers, Sonny Gray & Francis Peguero (Reds), Acquired third baseman, Gio Urshela & catcher, Gary Sánchez (NY Yankees)
Miguel Sanó – San Pedro De Macorís, Dominican Republic
One-time All-Star, Sanó has shown to be one of the strongest players across the league. In the past, he’s smashed homers out of stadiums, with projected distances estimated at more than 470 feet. Last season, Sanó finished with 30 home runs and 75 runs batted in.
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