NL Central Notes: La Russa, Furcal, Epstein

Here are a few items of note regarding the NL Central as the Redbirds threaten to take a 3-2 series lead over the Brew Crew in the NLCS …

  • Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is hinting at returning to manage St. Louis in 2012, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN). Prior to Game 5, TLR was excitedly discussing the talent the Cards have in place for next season, and he also mentioned recently that he will hold a charity event in January at the team's Winter Warmup, according to the report. La Russa and the Cards have a mutual option for 2012.
  • Cards shortstop Rafael Furcal reiterated that he'd like to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, according to Matthew Leach of Furcal, an impending free agent, and the Cardinals expressed mutual interest in working out a new deal last month, though nothing came to pass.
  • While the Cubs and Red Sox continue to haggle over compensation and other details of Theo Epstein's potential move the Chicago, one GM told Buster Olney of that the North Siders should hold firm on giving up little for Boston's GM (Twitter link). "What are the Red Sox going to do — bring Theo back? No way," said the GM.
  • Albert Pujols has reestablished his negotiating leverage, opines Olney (via Twitter), who finds it hard to believe the Cards will let him walk if they reach or win the World Series.