NL Central Notes: Cardinals, Samardzija, Votto

Tony La Russa's retirement has highlighted a busy day in the NL Central. Here are the latest notes from the division…

  • Former Cardinals infielder David Eckstein told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Albert Pujols would re-sign in St. Louis if the Cards make third base coach Jose Oquendo their next manager.
  • Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan told Morosi that he’s going to return to St. Louis in 2012, but it doesn’t sound as though he’s looking to manage the team (Twitter link).
  • The Cubs declined Jeff Samardzija's $3MM option for 2012, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (Twitter link). Samardzija isn't yet arbitration eligible and remains under team control.
  • One person with ties to the Reds says there's "not a chance" Joey Votto becomes available this offseason, according to Jon Heyman of The Reds control the first baseman's rights through 2013.

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