AL Central's best good-bargain players

  • Updated: May 10, 2014 - 3:58 PM

central intelligence

Best great-bargain players

Every AL Central team has a payroll of at least $85 million, and in the Tigers’ case, it’s nearly twice that. But even with all the big salaries, it’s important for teams to find valuable players at bargain prices. Here are the division’s most valuable players, among those earning $1 million or less, through the first five weeks of 2014:

Indians: In his third full season, Zach McAllister has gained confidence in his changeup, making his fastball even more effective. He’s allowed only one home run in 36 innings, and his 3.18 ERA shows the righthander may be on the verge of delivering All-Star performance for a minimum-salary ($500,000) price. (Runner-up: ­Lonnie Chisenhall.)

Royals: Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, with his $546,000 salary, was a runaway winner in this department, batting .360 over the first 14 games, until he went on the disabled list with a strained groin. Jarrod Dyson, earning $530,000, stepped in and batted .317 while Cain was out. (Runner-up: Yordano Ventura.)

Tigers: He’s only made three starts, but already Drew Smyly is showing why the Tigers felt comfortable trading away Doug Fister last winter. The $520,000 lefthander owns a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings, has struck out 21 and walked only six. (Runner-up: Nick Castellanos.)

White Sox: For a team that got only a .321 on-base percentage from its leadoff hitters in 2013, Adam Eaton, acquired in a trade with Arizona, has been a huge improvement. His .364 on-base average, at a salary of only $511,000, has helped Chicago lead the AL in runs scored. (Runner-up: Tyler Flowers.)

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Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
UCF 57 FINAL
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
SMU 60 FINAL
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
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