NL Central Notes: Snyder, Cardinals, Cubs, Astros

The Cardinals are optimistic that Matt Holliday will return from a finger injury before the season ends, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Getting the star left fielder would be a major boost for the Cardinals, who are chasing the Braves in the National League Wild Card race. Here's the latest on the NL Central…

  • Chris Snyder told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he'd like the Pirates to pick up his $6.75MM option for 2012 (Twitter link). It seems more likely that they'll pay a $750K buyout for the catcher, who has a .772 OPS in 119 plate appearances this year.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says talks between Rafael Furcal and the Cardinals are progressing slowly, according to Nate Latsch and Anthony DiComo of The Cardinals aren't gaining momentum on an extension for Lance Berkman, either.
  • Gary Hughes, who was named one of the top ten scouts of the century by Baseball America, told the Cubs that he will not return in 2012, according to's Carrie Muskat. Hughes, a 45-year veteran of pro baseball had been a special assistant under former GM Jim Hendry
  • Astros executives met with manager Brad Mills and his coaching staff yesterday to discuss the past year and look ahead to the 2012 roster, according to’s Brian McTaggart. The executives and field staff exchanged ideas about players, particularly free agents and those who will be out of options next Spring Training.
  • The Astros are inviting all of their coaches back for 2012, according to senior director of social media Alyson Footer (on Twitter). GM Ed Wade told McTaggart that pitching coach Doug Brocail has yet to commit to returning in 2012 (Twitter link).
  • First overall pick Gerrit Cole is likely to pitch in the Arizona Fall League this year, Jenifer Langosch writes at The Pirates haven't made an official announcement regarding the right-hander's participation at this point.

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