April 01, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder (28) reacts after scoring a run during the spring training game against the New York Mets at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

AL Central Offseason Review

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Another offseason came and went, and a few notable players switched teams. Here’s a look at some of the bigger names, where they left, where they went to, and how they fit in with their new counterparts. Although I will go in-depth, I cannot cover every single move and will ultimately leave out a few big moves at my will. Did you know that since I have nothing better to do, I reviewed nearly every offseason transaction of note? You can view them here, as well as even better and more in-depth analysis from the others who write for this site. So enjoy a quick offseason review for every team in the MLB and reminisce on your team’s decisions over the past few months. Don’t worry, we’re all judging.

AL Central Offseason Review

Detroit Tigers Offseason Review

The Detroit Tigers made two notable acquisitions, and the first one, signing Octavio Dotel, was a solid move that I was a fan of. The other one, signing the great Prince Fielder, was another good one. Sure his contract is going to be a burden to bear in his later years (as well as his defense) and he creates complications for your defensive alignment, but he has once-in-a-generation power and makes this team in a World Series contender. Mr. I made another move for Detroit sports fans, and you have to love how he keeps these fans going on year-in-and-year-out. I mean, who wouldn’t willingly root for a team that has Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Prince on the same squad?

Grade: A

Chicago White Sox Offseason Review

The White Sox are not on their way to winning the World Series after signing Kosuke Fukudome and Dan Johnson, but they did extend John Danks and Fukudome provides some nice value; just don’t expect him to field.

Grade: F

Cleveland Indians Offseason Review

After a contender tease to start the season, the Indians went back to the drawing board in the offseason. They added Ryan Spilborghs for power and basically bought interesting 1B power prospect Russ Canzler from the Rays, and he has a chance to start at the position for Cleveland. They swallowed up Derek Lowe after a salary dump from the Braves, who have too much pitching depth for their own good. The trade to add Kevin Slowey made some sense, but it’s one of those moves that most people, rightfully, don’t care about. The best additions were the acquisitions of Canzler and another former Ray, reliever Dan Wheeler, who will be a quality pitcher in the ‘pen for the former AL Central pretenders. No longer is every team a contender in the AL Central because of that Fielder signing.

Grade: F

Kansas City Royals Offseason Review

The Royals swapped solid outfielder Melky Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for inconsistent, albeit exactly league-average starter Jonathan Sanchez. The former no-hit starter racks up strikeouts but messes up so much because he always pitches high in the zone. Always. It was a good move, because if you’re the Royals, you’d much rather have a starter than an outfielder. They added Jonathan Broxton for 30 cents on the dollar, which means that they have a potentially great reliever and a primed bounce-back candidate on the cheap, because every other team was too scared to roll the dice on him. Good one KC.  The Yuniesky Betancourt signing? Well, at least they extended defensive superstar Alcides Escobar. And hey, Betancourt isn’t that bad as a backup (who am I kidding, he stinks).

Grade: C-

Minnesota Twins Offseason Review

What a season that was! The Twins signed (and ultimately released) Joel Zumaya who holds a soft spot in my heart, and they also added Jason Marquis as solid rotation depth. But the main thing that Terry Ryan did in his reunion with the Twins this offseason was to vastly upgrade a staggering offense. Ryan Doumit can’t field, but it’s tough to find a better hitting catcher, and he has the versatility and ability to succeed as a decent offensive option for the Twins. Jamey Carroll gets a lot of hate from the non-saber people out there who rely on RBIs as their only means of statistical evaluation, and they overlook a solid top-of-the-order who gets on base an awful lot. The biggest move was signing injury-prone, underrated offensive power weapon Josh Willingham to get it done in the outfield. He came on the cheap, and the 3 WAR hitter received a much favorable deal than former Twin Michael Cuddyer did with the Rockies. It was a successful offseason in the Twin cities, and it couldn’t have come at a much better time; nice job getting J-Will, TR.

Grade: B+

Be sure to check out all of Call to the Pen’s transaction breakdowns for the 2011-12 offseason. You can follow Call to the Pen on Twitter at @FSCalltothePen or like us here on Facebook.

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Tags: AL Central Offseason Review Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins

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