Twins aren’t planning to trade Michael Cuddyer this season

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Via Joe Christensen and Amelia Rayno, beat writers with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The Twins have no plans to trade Michael Cuddyer this season even if they fall from contention, a team official said Friday, adding that an effort will be made to re-sign Cuddyer this fall.

Cuddyer is an impending free agent and has around $5 million remaining on his $10.5 million salary for 2011. Most fourth-place teams would be looking to dump his contract for a package of projectable young talent.

But Cuddyer has also been the Twins’ best hitter, and Minnesota entered Sunday’s action only six games back of the Indians in the American League Central. Trading him, in some ways, would be like throwing in the towel.

Cuddyer, 32, is batting .296/.372/.467 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI through 363 plate appearances this season. He did tell CBS Sports’ Scott Miller last month that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves