AL Central Notes: Kreidler, Tigers, Gregorius, Twins, White Sox
Tigers shortstop prospect Ryan Kreidler has drawn trade interest from other teams, GM Al Avila told MLB.com’s Jason Beck and other reporters. A fourth-round pick for Detroit in the 2019 draft, Kreidler hit a combined .270/.349/.454 with 22 home runs over 550 plate appearances at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season, saving his best offensive work (.926 OPS) for his 162 PA with Triple-A Toledo. This production came with quite a bit of swing-and-miss, but Kreidler also cut down on his strikeouts once reaching Triple-A.
It seems like the 24-year-old might be able to help a team as soon as 2022, so it isn’t surprising that clubs are eyeing Kreidler as a potential trade chip, especially considering Detroit has been checking in on the biggest names in the free agent shortstop market. Kreidler could be expendable if the Tigers sign one of those top shortstops, though Avila said that the team’s pursuit may not stop at the free agent market. Trading for a shortstop is “possible. It’s the hardest way of doing it, but it’s possible.”
More from around the AL Central…
- The Twins are another club looking for shortstop help but don’t figure to spend big on the major names, as The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman and Dan Hayes figuring Minnesota will target a short-term name as a bridge to prospects Royce Lewis or Austin Martin. It isn’t completely out of the question that the Twins go after a star (they had interest in Marcus Semien last winter, for instance) but players like Freddy Galvis, Jose Iglesias, or old friend Andrelton Simmons might be more of a fit. As for trade possibilities, Gleeman and Hayes write that Didi Gregorius “was on the Twins’ radar last offseason” before he signed a two-year deal with the Phillies. Gregorius struggled in 2021, however, which cost him a surefire starting job in Philadelphia next year, and might have also given the Twins pause about acquiring the veteran. On Minnesota’s current roster, Jorge Polanco could be moved back to shortstop as a stopgap option, though the Twins would greatly prefer to keep Polanco at second base.
- After signing Kendall Graveman to bolster the bullpen, the White Sox are aiming high and looking to now add a second baseman and “a front line starter,” according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). Semien and Robbie Ray are mentioned by name, yet this could indicate that the Sox are just prepared to look at the top of the market to fill their needs, rather than necessarily a specific interest in either of those players. This is itself notable given that the White Sox payroll is already projected for a new record-high for the team, and spending big on a player like Semien or Ray would take Chicago into luxury tax range for the first time ever. Semien, of course, is already a familiar figure on the South Side, as spent his first two MLB seasons with the White Sox before being dealt to the Athletics in December 2014.