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Around the AL Central: Twins fire Terry Ryan

Indians lose their starting catcher to injury, but their replacement in playable

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Even before David Robertson and the White Sox decided to blow a 3-0 lead to the Seattle Mariners, Monday was an eventful day for the AL Central, especially for two other teams in particular.

Minnesota Twins

The one team that rivals the Chicago White Sox with loyalty from its ownership decided that enough was enough. The Twins fired Terry Ryan, although it might be more accurate to say that they were going to fire Terry Ryan, and Terry Ryan got to pick when it happened.

A couple weeks before the trade deadline is a strange time for a general manager transition, although assistant-turned-interim-GM Rob Antony should have a firm idea of what discussions are already taking place. If he didn’t, that would be another reason to fire the GM.

The Twins being the Twins, though, owner Jim Pohlad said Paul Molitor’s job is safe regardless of who replaces Ryan. I guess that squarely puts the blame on the front office, although it compromises the new one. We could make fun of the Twins for this, but they’ve had more winning seasons than the White Sox over the last three full seasons, and the Sox are now making a run at going 0-for-4.

The Sox also have the oldest front-office structure in the division right now. In the past year, the Tigers fired Dave Dombrowski, the Indians let Mark Shapiro go to Toronto, and now Ryan will have no part in the Twins' decision-making. Dayton Moore has the longest reign of anybody in the GM chair, as he took over for the Royals in 2006. However, Kenny Wiliams and Rick Hahn have maintained their pecking order since 2002.

Cleveland Indians

A couple years ago, Yan Gomes suffering a shoulder separation would’ve been a massive blow to the Tribe’s chances.

This year? It could actually liberate decision-making for the front office and manager.

The Indians were one of the few teams with a worse catching situation than the White Sox, as Gomes hit .165/.198/.313 before his injury on Sunday. Backup Chris Gimenez has been about the same, and his history says he’s much worse.

Regardless, the Indians had little reason to overreact to their poor situation, what with the 6½-game lead in the Central*. They still really don’t, as Roberto Perez has proved to be a playable option in the past. If it weren’t for a broken thumb, Perez might’ve usurped Gomes on the depth chart already.

Granted, a guy coming off a hand injury might not be the best solution for league-worst production, but it’s better than most in-house options there, as the White Sox know. A trade for Jonathan Lucroy still makes a lot of sense, considering the Indians have the window, the positioning and the prospects to make such a large deal happen with as little angst as possible. If Perez returns immediately to his 2015 form, it’s yet another luxury the Indians have that others don’t.

(*The lead is now down to 5½ games after the Indians bullpen allowed seven runs in the eighth inning to Kansas City on Monday.)