NL Central Notes: Astros, Fielder, Pirates, Cubs

When the Brewers take on the Cardinals tonight, St. Louis skipper Tony La Russa will be managing his 5,000th MLB game. Here are notes on the Cardinals, the Brewers and their NL Central rivals…

  • The Astros announced that they have signed second round pick Adrian Houser via press release. His signing bonus is unknown, but MLB's slot recommendation for the 69th overall pick is approximately $530K.
  • Prince Fielder says he isn't competing with Albert Pujols or thinking about his next contract. But Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Brewers' first baseman may be a safer free agent target than Pujols this coming offseason.
  • Pirates owner Bob Nutting told Bob Cohn of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he is "extremely pleased" with the progress the 30-31 Pirates have made this year. “Tremendous improvement from last year,” Nutting said. “I'm very pleased where we are. And, I really believe that we're beginning to see the impact of the changes we've made in the organization over the last three and a half years.”
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders how long A’s GM Billy Beane will want to remain in Oakland and points out that the Cubs and Astros could be looking for new leadership before long. Beane would be a “leading candidate” for any GM job if he were not in Oakland.
  • Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says new Astros owner Jim Crane should aim to draft and develop players as successfully as the Cardinals have.

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