Welcome to theScore's MLB offseason team needs, in which we'll break down every club's roster and its key free agents, along with how holes could be filled in free agency. Up next is the AL Central.
2018 Record: 62-100 (4th)
Projected 2019 Payroll: $54M
Key free agents: James Shields, Hector Santiago, Jeanmar Gomez
Team needs: Starting pitcher, outfielder, relief pitcher
At $54 million in expected payroll, the White Sox have some flexibility to spend if they so choose, though that total isn't expected to decrease over the next few years with Anderson getting increasingly expensive. While they may be able to afford Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, the core led by Moncada and Giolito didn't especially elicit feelings that this team is close to competing. Add in the fact that Michael Kopech is shelved for the entire year after requiring Tommy John surgery, and this winter might be more about trading away Abreu and Garcia than making any meaningful additions.
2018 Record: 91-71 (1st)
Projected 2019 Payroll: $127.4M
Key free agents: Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, Josh Donaldson, Lonnie Chisenhall, Oliver Perez, Brandon Guyer, Josh Tomlin, Melky Cabrera, Rajai Davis
Team needs: Outfielder, relief pitcher
This team could - and probably should - look a lot different than these projections indicate, as the club is reportedly shopping both Kluber and Carrasco. The return for either pitcher could certainly help add to Cleveland's thin lineup or weakened bullpen. It may seem odd to shop its aces, but the club does boast depth at the position, with Danny Salazar or Adam Plutko potentially rejoining the rotation, Cody Anderson on the mend, and Triston McKenzie cementing his reputation as one of the top pitching prospects.
2018 Record: 64-98 (3rd)
Projected 2019 Payroll: $99.6M
Key free agents: Jose Iglesias, Francisco Liriano, Victor Martinez (retired)
Team needs: Shortstop, outfielder, second baseman, starting pitcher, relief pitcher
The Tigers will likely be making more moves similar to the Pete Kozma minor-league deal they already made - low-risk plays that will get them through the campaign without costing much money. In all likelihood, they will add a starter for depth - but Norris has shown some renewed promise in Arizona Fall League this year and during the Japan Series - and possibly some relief help, though the top-end tandem of Shane Greene and Joe Jimenez isn't bad.
2018 Record: 58-104 (5th)
Projected 2019 Payroll: $81.6M
Key free agents: Alcides Escobar, Jason Hammel
Team needs: First baseman, outfielder, starting pitcher, relief pitcher
There's no real way to put this lightly: the Royals were bad and will continue to be bad. That said, there are some things to look forward to for Kansas City fans, such as the continued development of Mondesi, who is already better than Alcides Escobar. Or, the progression of Phillips as a major leaguer, who was the main piece to come over in the Mike Moustakas trade. While Junis and Keller could bloom into something, the pitching - both in the rotation and bullpen - is a chasm and will need to be addressed. But generally, there's reason for optimism with the Royals looking to make low-risk additions.
2018 Record: 78-84 (2nd)
Projected 2019 Payroll: $70.1M
Key free agents: Logan Morrison, Ervin Santana, Logan Forsythe, Chris Gimenez, Joe Mauer (retired)
Team needs: Second baseman, relief pitcher, starting pitcher
The new regime has taken a little while to put its imprint on the Twins' roster, but, in the wake of Mauer's retirement and the hiring of new manager Rocco Baldelli, it'll need to soon. Under the current roster construction, there are a lot of question marks, and they'll all need answering in short order. Is Sano any good? What about Buxton? Either way, the rotation will be built around budding ace Berrios, and while the farm system seems strong, the lineup lacks much depth, even if everyone plays at or near their peak performances.