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MLB: AL Central teams at the start of spring training


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He’s Outta Here: RHP Chris Perez, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP Joe Smith, LHP Scott Kazmir, OF Drew Stubbs, RHP Matt Albers, LHP Rich Hill, OF Jason Kubel, C Lou Marson.

Goin’ campin’: Francona’s arrival — along with the signings of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and Jason Giambi as free agents — propelled the Indians into the postseason for the first time since 2007. They lost the one-game playoff to Tampa Bay, but a small sampling of October has the club craving more in 2014. To get back, Cleveland must remodel its bullpen from front to back. Axford, who had 46 saves for Milwaukee in 2011, must rebound from two rough seasons. The emergence of catcher Yan Gomes (Indians were 49-30 when he started) could move Carlos Santana to third. The Indians are counting on young pitchers Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister and Corey Kluber to step up and round out their rotation. Jimenez remains unsigned and could resurface in Cleveland. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was dangled as trade bait during the offseason and must shake off an inconsistent 2013 because the Indians have prospect Francisco Lindor waiting in the wings.

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Kansas City Royals

Manager: Ned Yost (fifth season).

2013: 86-76, third place.

Training Town: Surprise, Ariz.

Park: Surprise Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 14/19.

He’s Here: LHP Jason Vargas, 2B Omar Infante, RF Norichika Aoki, 3B Danny Valencia, C Ramon Hernandez, RHP Jon Rauch, RHP Brad Penny, RHP Guillermo Mota.


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He’s Outta Here: RHP Ervin Santana, LHP Will Smith, 2B Chris Getz, RF David Lough, C George Kottaras, 3B Irving Falu, RHP Felipe Paulino, RHP Luis Mendoza, 3B Jamey Carroll.

Going campin’: The Royals will have a record payroll of more than $90 million this season, but the money was well spent. They upgraded at second base with Infante and right field with Aoki, and signed Vargas to help solidify the rotation. The biggest race in camp remains among their starting pitchers, though. Flame-throwing RHP Yordano Ventura, injury plagued LHP Danny Duffy and fast-rising RHP Kyle Zimmer will be trying to secure one of two spots up for grabs. RHPs Wade Davis and Luke Hochevar are also in the race. Meanwhile, 3B Mike Moustakas must prove a miserable last season (.233/.287/.364) was an aberration. Valencia and versatile INF Emilio Bonifacio are waiting in the wings in the former No. 2 overall draft pick struggles again.

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Minnesota Twins

Manager: Ron Gardenhire (13th season).

2013: 66-96, fourth place.

Training Town: Fort Myers, Fla.

Park: Hammond Stadium at Lee County Sports Complex.

First Workout: Feb. 17/22.

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