NL Central Links: Matheny, Little, Fielder

Earlier tonight, the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny as their new manager, despite the fact that he's never managed at any professional level. Here's some more on that and other news from around the NL Central:

  • Danny Knobler of calls it a "fascinating hire"and a tough job for Matheny to follow a legend that went out with a title. Knobler also wonders if the Cardinals will hire an experienced bench coach for their rookie manager, something the White Sox didn't do with Robin Ventura (Twitter links).
  • Former Red Sox and Dodgers manager Grady Little is an possible candidate for such a role, tweets Knobler.
  • Matthew Leach of tweets that he hasn't covered a player in the last 10 seasons who was "better-regarded by EVERYONE" than Matheny.
  • The Brewers' financial situation has changed drastically since the club offered Prince Fielder a five-year, $100MM extension in the spring of 2010, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Several players have been extended or traded for since then, and a big salary for Fielder no longer makes sense. Haudricourt says some in the organization feel it's time to let Mat Gamel have a shot at first base. The 26-year-old hit .310/.372/.540 with 28 homers in Triple-A last year.

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