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NL Central Notes: Pujols, Pirates, Astros

Let's turn our attention to the National League Central where we lead off with, who else, Albert Pujols..

  • If there was any doubt before, it's completely erased now: Albert Pujols is going to hit the free agent jackpot at the age of 31, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  One performance logically shouldn't have a great effect on a player's value, but Rosenthal argues that all it takes is one team to take a contrary position.
  • If, as expected, the Pirates move on without Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, GM Neal Huntington said the team is "comfortable" with their internal options at catcher but will explore outside options as well, writes Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • The Astros have hired Bryan Lambe as an area scout, tweets MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  Lambe and Wayne Krivsky, both hires of ex-GM Omar Minaya, were let go by the Mets exactly one month ago today.

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