NL Central Notes: La Russa, Pujols, Pence, Brewers

Let's look at some notes from the NL Central as we remember the legendary Harry Caray, who passed away on this day in 1998.

  • The close relationship between Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols may be the Cardinals' "secret weapon" for keeping Pujols in St. Louis, writes's Jon Heyman.  Of course, La Russa's own contract is only guaranteed through this season, and he could very well decide his future with the club before Pujols has to this winter.  A St. Louis Post-Dispatch roundtable looks at how the futures of the Cardinals manager and slugger are intertwined.
  • The Cubs "should move heaven and earth" to acquire Pujols if he hits the free agent market, says ESPN's Michael Wilbon.  The potential pros of signing a franchise player outweigh, in Wilbon's opinion, the record-setting costs a Pujols contract could entail: "Please don't bother me with what might happen when Pujols reaches 40 or 41 years of age and whether he'll be overpaid by then….when the alternative is stealing away your hated rival's best-ever player and putting him into your lineup in the prime of his life."
  • Hunter Pence's arbitration case took place this morning, and's Brian McTaggart talks to Astros GM Ed Wade about the process.  The arbitration panel is expected to have a decision ready by Saturday.  Pence is the last remaining arb-eligible player without a contract, as MLBTR's ArbTracker indicates. 
  • The Brewers have signed pre-arb players Zach Braddock, Chris Dickerson, Brandon Kintzler and Jonathan Lucroy to contracts, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Reds prospect Yonder Alonso is continuing his outfield training this spring, and talks to's Mark Sheldon about how learning a different position is key to his future in Cincinnati.  Alonso's natural position, first base, is of course blocked by NL MVP Joey Votto.
  • "There is still a good chance" the Astros will trade Jeff Keppinger once the veteran infielder proves he's healthy after offseason foot surgery, says's Jason A. Churchill.  Houston shopped Keppinger during the Winter Meetings, with the Yankees showing some interest, but negotiations didn't pan out.

22 Responses to NL Central Notes: La Russa, Pujols, Pence, Brewers Leave a Reply

  1. Fifty_Five 4 years ago

    Haha their secret weapon?

  2. WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

    What if there “secret weapon” helps him leave? could you imagain if both LaRussa and Pujols both leave to go to another team and get a pay day?

    • I was thinking the same thing, but I doubt Pujols’ attachment to St. Louie lies solely in LaRussa.

      Maybe LaRussa and a couple hundred million…

      • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

        I doubt that both will leave but it was the first thing to pop in my head

    • I agree, this seems kind of presumptuous to speculate that LaRussa is going to unconditionally advocate for St. Louis. I would think that teammates like Matt Holliday (who I think offered to defer some of his salary for the sake of signing Pujols?) would have more influence. Not that I suspect players are in the habit of asking their teammates to give up money for franchise loyalty.

  3. is there a way to calculate (estimate?) a WAR sort of stat when it comes to how a team could spend its money on either one huge signing or by using that money for other free agent signings / extensions / draft signings etc.? I think when someone develops that stat we won’t see players asking teams to handicap themselves at every other position with huge contracts (as much). Someone should do the math out somehow…

  4. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    It’s sort of interesting to think though. The Cards got tremendous bang for their bucks for the first 3 years of AP’s career. Should they be too worried about what he might produce at age 39-41? Its sort of evens out if you think about it.

  5. syphercx 4 years ago

    Cubs are on Albert’s no trade list. I highly doubt they out bid everyone else by enough to cure what ever animosity he has towards that club.

    • BillB325 4 years ago

      every team is on his no trade list……………

      • stl_cards16 4 years ago

        No, he has 10-5 rights now. But prior to the end of the season, he had a no trade list. It did include all but 8 teams, so most of the league WAS on his no trade list.

  6. BillB325 4 years ago

    Lets be clear so this speculation can stop. PUJOLS ISN`T LEAVING THE CARDNIALS!

    • timmytwoshoezzz 4 years ago

      you forgot to add the “until the end of 2011″ part

    • And you know this how?

      Oh wait, you don’t know that. Because you can’t know that. You’re guessing, just like everyone else. At this point I don’t know why you or anyone else would want to kill the conversation (except for St. Louis fans) about Pujols leaving. We don’t know what’s going to happen with him but it’s interesting to speculate at the very least.

      • BillB325 4 years ago

        Im not trying to say like I know personally it just seems like there is a 5% chance.

  7. timmytwoshoezzz 4 years ago

    Reds have two more years of options for Yonder Alonso, so probably a wise move to work him out in the outfield and try to make it work. His bat would be a boost to an already good lineup. And he can’t be worse defensively than Jonny Gomes or Lance Berkman.

    • rzepczynski 4 years ago

      trade him to the jays…. no idea his value tho anyone know those 2 orgs to give a realistic trade?

      • Ferrariman 4 years ago

        reds are actually a pretty strong farm team in every spot, maybe middle infield needs a boost and 3B but the jays don’t have someone to offer at those spots. Adeiny is obviously a good middle infield guy but he is too valuable i would imagine.

  8. The ‘Stros are thinking of trading Keppinger? Big news! It ranks up there with the ship sterwards rearranging the deck chairs as the Titanic went down.

    The point is, it won’t make a difference one way or the other.

  9. $3081341 4 years ago

    Pujols & Fielder. Two biggest FA’s out there at the end of the season. If the cubbies miss out on “Phat” Albert, Prince could be plan B (along with the Angels, Mets, Giants, & Rangers).

    • Taskmaster75 4 years ago

      I start to wonder if Prince will be plan A for them honestly. If Albert demands 32+ million from them, is it really that awful to take a hit in production for a 20m first basemen like Fielder will be? If Fielder keeps his production of old, I see no reason to not sign him over Pujols.


      The Cubs aren’t in the situation that the Cardinals are in. They actually have a payroll that can sustain a 32 million dollar player in it, as well as a fanbase that will pay to see it.

      It’s an interesting proposition. Since it’s Hendry, I think the Cubs will take a shot at Albert for 32 million a year and see where that goes, but Fielder is a great alternative ;P.

      • $3081341 4 years ago

        What’s great about Hendry is he’ll spend $$$$ likes it water. Plus, its not like they haven’t had their share of bad contracts (Kosuke, Bradley, etc).

  10. Sdial2011 4 years ago

    i don’t think their contracts were too bad. every team needs to sign a high priced japaneese player and have them fail before everyone expects every japaneese player to be ichiro or even matsui….and bradley wasn’t the worst contract in the world, i mean we got silva who for the first half was amazing….and its okay to overplay for players when you do your homework and have them all comming off the books in a strong FA season. everyone wants to bash Hendry, but i say well played. given his history, he will get a star at season’s end. and if they’re contending, you better believe a trade will be made.

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