NL Central Notes: Pirates, Astros, Draft Signings

Of the top eight vote-getters in National League All-Star voting, six are Brewers, Cardinals and Reds.  Ryan Braun leads the way with over 2.23MM votes thus far.  Here are a few items from this star-studded division….

  • The Pirates just acquired Mike McKenry yesterday but they still want to add more catching depth, manager Clint Hurdle tells's Jenifer Langosch.
  • Astros owner Drayton McLane wants his team to remain in the National League, reports Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle.  The 'Stros were rumored to be candidates to move to the AL under a realignment proposal that would even out the AL and NL with 15 teams each.  Of course, McLane is in the process of selling the team to Jim Crane, so McLane's preference wouldn't necessarily be an issue if these realignment plans ever came to fruition.
  • Speaking of Crane, Justice reports (via Twitter) that the new owner will likely officially take over the Astros on July 7 or 8.
  • The Reds announced the signings of 14 draft picks, plus undrafted free agent Phil Bauer from Xavier University.  The highest-selected of these picks is left-hander Tony Cingrani, taken in the third round.
  • The Brewers announced the signings of 14 draft picks and three undrafted free agents (via's Adam McCalvy).  Ninth-round outfielder Malcom Dowell is the highest selection to sign.

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