NL Central Notes: Furcal, Astros, Lee, Phillips

A pair of legendary former Cubs and Cardinals third basemen (Ron Santo and Ken Boyer) are among the 10 "Golden Era" figures to be considered for induction into the Hall Of Fame by the Veterans' Committee.  Some other news from the NL Central…

  • Rafael Furcal has told the Cardinals that he will wait for the team to hire a new manager before deciding where to play in 2012, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Paul Kinser, Furcal's agent, says six teams have already contacted him about Furcal's services but "we're not in a hurry."
  • A number of Cardinals writers note in a Post-Dispatch roundtable that the club apparently has no problem in hiring a manager with no Major League experience.
  • Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros will likely be approved at the owners' meetings in two weeks, reports Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle.  Issues such as Crane's compensation for moving the team to the American League are still being negotiated but "for the first time since Crane and Drayton McLane shook hands on a deal almost six months ago, there’s a feeling within MLB that the deal will get done," Justice writes.
  • The Pirates are trying to re-sign Derrek Lee, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer thinks the Reds are looking for an extension for Brandon Phillips in the neighborhood of four years and $48MM.  Fay also discusses several other Reds-related topics with fans as part of the online chat.
  • There are no hard feelings between Theo Epstein and Ryne Sandberg, Epstein tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  The two exchanged complimentary phone calls in the wake of the Cubs' statement that their new manager "must have managerial or coaching experience at the Major League level," which Sandberg doesn't possess.

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