The Astros are likely to leave the NL Central after the 2012 season. Here's the latest on some teams that are staying in the division…
- Seven or eight teams, including the Reds, have inquired on free agent closer Francisco Cordero, agent Bean Stringfellow told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Cordero is interested in returning to the Reds on a multiyear deal.
- The Cubs announced that Shiraz Rehman joined their front office as an assistant to GM Jed Hoyer. The 34-year-old spent six seasons with the Diamondbacks after interning with Hoyer, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox in 2005. He'll provide Hoyer with scouting and statistical information for possible acquisitions and coordinate the Cubs' technological efforts.
- Compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox for Theo Epstein are progressing amicably, Epstein told Alex Speier of WEEI.com. “I know I’m right, because I know my own faults better than Ben does," Epstein said. "I know my limitations. I’m just not worth that much. But I’m sure it will work out, one way or the other, in a way that satisfies all the parties involved."
- The Cubs will conduct a second round of managerial interviews, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin are the candidates for the position.
- The Pirates checked in on Josh Willingham and Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. Pittsburgh has Pedro Alvarez at third and Alex Presley in the outfield, but the team appears to be considering depth options at those positions.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington jokes that he has tried to forget the 2008 trade that sent Jason Bay to Boston, according to Speier. The Pirates obtained Brandon Moss, Craig Hansen, Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris in a deal that Huntington considers his worst trade ever.
- Rod Barajas told reporters, including Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that he had offers from other teams before signing with the Pirates. He'll be the primary catcher in Pittsburgh, which figured in to his decision.