A.J. Pierzynski roomed with Doug Mientkiewicz this spring, since the White Sox and Dodgers train at the same Arizona facility. Mientkiewicz is a hitting coach in the Dodgers system. "I told him, 'If I get enough at-bats, I'm going to hit 20 home runs,'" Pierzynski said. "It was just something I found, something I was feeling." Sure enough, Pierzynski entered Saturday batting .295 with a career-high 22 homers.
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Detroit's big offseason splash was signing Prince Fielder to his nine-year, $214 million deal, but another important move was signing reliever Octavio Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with an option for 2013. Dotel, 38, gives the Tigers another late-inning relief option with Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke struggling.
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The Twins didn't get much from the Mets in the Johan Santana trade, but the Indians fared no better when they traded Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia. From the 2009 Lee trade with Philadelphia, the Indians received pitchers Jason Knapp (just released) and Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery), utility infielder Jason Donald and backup catcher Lou Marson. Knapp was the top prospect in that deal. The only player Cleveland has to show for the 2008 Sabathia trade with Milwaukee is outfielder Michael Brantley. Matt LaPorta, the top prospect in the deal, has been a total bust.