NL Central Notes: Furcal, Hanrahan, Astros, Brewers

I hesitated at first to include the Astros in these NL Central notes. Thankfully, I've got a year to remap the standings on my mind's sports page. On with the linkage …

  • The Pirates are looking at shortstop Rafael Furcal and other options at the position, tweets Jon Heyman of, although not the premium types like Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins. It'll be interesting to see how the Bucs handle shortstop after declining Ronny Cedeno's $3MM 2012 option last month.
  • Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan would be receptive to working out an extension with the team, according to Jenifer Langosch of, who reports that there have been no talks but that neither side has ruled it out, either. It's not a regular occurence in Pittsburgh, where Neal Huntington has dished out just one multiyear contract to a reliever, Matt Capps for 2008-09, since taking over in 2007, according to Langosch. Hanrahan is under team control for two more years and is due a sharp raise through arbitration on his $1.4MM 2011 salary coming off a 40-save campaign. The 30-year-old right-hander should earn $4MM in 2012 through arbitration.
  • New Astros owner Jim Crane said it was made clear to him before agreeing to purchase the Astros that the team would be moved to the AL, according to Astros senior director of social media Alyson Footer. Crane also cautioned not to expect the Astros to be big players in free agency this year, as they will instead focus on building the farm, and said payroll will "be in line with" incoming revenue (all Twitter links).
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he's interested in extending starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, as was reported yesterday, but that the sides haven't had talks yet and aren't in a rush to do so, according to Adam McCalvy of
  • Melvin also hasn't ruled out bringing Craig Counsell aboard as the Brewers' hitting coach, tweets McCalvy. Counsell, however, hasn't ruled out remaining in the game as a player.
  • Cardinals CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said the Redbirds are "going to make every effort" to re-sign first baseman Albert Pujols, tweets Ken Rosenthal of We heard earlier today and yesterday that the Cards and Pujols' agent have resumed talks.
  • New Cubs manager Dale Sveum may bring in Robin Yount as one of his coaches, writes Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times.

26 Responses to NL Central Notes: Furcal, Hanrahan, Astros, Brewers Leave a Reply

  1. Actions speak louder than words Bill DeWitt Jr. don’t make every effort just get it done, “do or do not, there is no try” a wise little green guy once said.

    • It takes two

      • Don’t worry, I’m already mad enough at Albert over this, in the end it all comes back to the player, he’s the one that signs his name on the contract. Really don’t know if us Cardinals fans could have done anything more to make this guy happy here, hopefully it pays off.

        • Wainwrights_Curveball 4 years ago

          You can’t deny that we’ve had the guy’s best years for one hell of a bargain. Part of me can’t exactly blame him for wanting to get paid megabucks. 

          • He signed a 100 Million $$$ deal in his 3rd season. Cardinals took a huge risk & it paid off. Albert has to decide whether he want to be remembered as a legend or just a great hitter. Lets hope a Legend!

          • Garrett Staley 4 years ago

            Why would him signing with your team or not decide if he is a great hitter or a Legend?  He is an elite athlete who has been at the very top of the MLB for years.  He should get paid accordingly.  If he chooses a bigger payday with another team it isn’t a personal slight against Cardinals fans; he’s choosing what is best for him and his family.  He is already a legend and anyone who would choose a city they work for over their family would be less than a legend in my eyes.  Go ahead and get mad at Pujols if he signs somewhere else.  He won’t care one bit and neither should you.  He has given you something great to cheer for for years, been part of two Championships and not to mention everything he has done for the community and you are mad at him for wanting to get paid what the market is willing to pay?  Who is being selfish and greedy here?

          • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

            Read the papers man! Dede (his family) wants to stay in St. Louis. Therefore if he leaves St. Louis he is doing them a disservice.

          • angryredmenace 4 years ago

            The papers said it, so it must be true.If Albert leaves St. Louis he will have the full backing of his family.It’s not like he wouldn’t run something like uprooting the family by his wife and kids.

          • Garrett Staley 4 years ago

            I don’t need to read the papers to know a man will choose what is best for him and his family.  Dede and Albert probably want to stay in St. Louis, but if it isn’t what is best for them financially or otherwise then he is going to leave.  Most likely he won’t but leaving would be a family decision and no one would be done a disservice because they would all be part of the decision. 

          • Nobody is getting mad…. and the Cardinals may have already offered him the most money. You obviously have not seen the Hall of Famers hanging out at Busch stadium on a regular basis. Musial, Gibson, Brock, Schoendist, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, etc…. You get the point. He will become a legend if he stays. You won’t see this in Miami, Chicago or Texas.

          • angryredmenace 4 years ago

            How ridiculous.It doesn’t matter if Albert leaves St. Louis or if he stays, Albert will be a legend regardless.Maybe not in the minds of some Cards fans, but in the minds of all sane baseball fans, Albert will always be a legend.

  2. acr123 4 years ago

    You mean Matt Capps instead of Camps?

  3. Ray Darr 4 years ago

    Counsell as the #Brewers hitting coach?  What has Mel been drinking at those GM meetings in town?  Counsell could pass along a lot of knowledge from his .178 avg., and 0-49 hitting streak.  I don;t know if I can think of anyone less qualified.
    That was one of the #Pirates big mistakes.  Giving Camps a multi-year deal instead of Capps.
    Also, since when did Furcal become a big enough star to just go by his first name?
    Who wrote this report?  Sounds like a newbie.

    • Wainwrights_Curveball 4 years ago

      You could have just said, “Hey, Dan, I think you forgot to include Furcal’s last name.”

    • Choosing between Counsell as hitting coach or Counsell as a player is like saying “you can be eaten by a bear or eaten by a shark.  Your choice.”

      • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

        Counsell as hitting coach?!? HAHA.

         “Alright what you need to do now is get your arms way up in the sky.. once you do that, use your elbow to completely cover your face.. Position your feet just a little outside of the batters box and when they throw that ball JUMP OUTTA THE WAY!”

    • Backup_Slider 4 years ago

      I believe that it was Confucius who said “Sometimes you can teach someone just as well by showing them what not to do as opposed to showing them what to do.” And if it was not Confucius, then I must have read that on a fortune cookie slip once. 

  4. Why were the Reds the only team NOT mentioned in this article… O wait Uncle Walt and Bobby Boy won’t do a damn thing this offsesaon so why mention them at all?

  5. nebelski 4 years ago

    Last season was Furcal’s worst, but it was still better than Cedeno’s season.  LOL… The only thing I’d worry about is spending more than they would have on Cedeno for a guy who appears to be getting injured a lot.

  6. The_BiRDS 4 years ago

    Next Post: The Marlins are “for real” about acquiring big name player

    Honestly if I see one more post about the Marlins being serious about a big name player Im calling a big fat PUBLICITY STUNT!

  7. essmeier 4 years ago

    The only thing I want to see out of new Astros owner Jim Crane is for him to tell Bud Selig to take a hike.

    Sadly, that horse has left the barn.  There’s a word for people like Crane, and it rhymes with “bore.”

  8. I wonder what the market would have been like for Furcal if he didn’t get traded at the deadline.  It still amazes me that as many teams are in on him as there are.  The guy has been healthy for the entirety of a season just once in the last four

    • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

      Ya unless he takes a discount to resign with the Cards let the guy walk.. to many “what if’s” on the Cardinals this year.. Berkman having a repeat season, Holliday staying healthy, Freese staying healthy, Wainwrights health (arm), Carpenter bringing back his stuff…etc Furcal is almost guaranteed to be on the DL at some point.   

  9. Spencer Smith 4 years ago

    Disgusted that existing rivalries have been thrown out the window as the Astros are moved to play softball in the AL west.  It’s disgusting.

  10. meinhardt1992 4 years ago

    lets just say the NL Central will be a tough one in the coming years due to the contention with how well all teams are doing…Cardinals will contend but if puljos is not on the team i see there being a little bit more of a strugle…Brewers will struggle without fielder…pirates were lucky this year and may contend but not as well as last year…Reds stayed about the same so they should be an above average team…and if the Cubs can get some players on the team after losing ramirez i think the Cubs could do fine if they pick up a good starter and also another good bat…all in all a close division

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