NL Central Notes: K-Rod, Pena, Phillips, Pirates

Here's the latest from Albert Pujols' former division…

  • "A handful of teams" are interested in Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.  Though Rodriguez's 2012 salary is projected as around $13MM through arbitration, the Brewers don't necessarily plan to trade him until they know if Rodriguez is content being John Axford's set-up man.  Yesterday, MLBTR's Steve Adams examined how Rodriguez's decision to accept arbitration affects the Brewers' offseason plans.
  • Carlos Pena is "in play" as a possibility for the Cardinals, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.  Heyman hasn't heard anything yet about the Cards possibly entering the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears from a friend of Tony La Russa that the ex-Cardinals skipper had already made up his mind about retirement two months before the World Series.
  • The Reds met with Brandon Phillips' agents on Wednesday and presented a new contract offer, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  “I don’t know if they were completely happy…they didn’t agree to it,” said Reds GM Walt Jocketty.  Fay's piece also mentions that the Reds were planning to make a pick in yesterday's Rule 5 draft, but the player was gone before Cincinnati would draft in the 14th overall spot.
  • The Pirates took the "portfolio approach" at the Winter Meetings, GM Neal Huntington tells Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The Bucs addressed several needs during the Meetings and Huntington said the team has enough payroll flexibility to make more moves if necessary this offseason.
  • Contract details for some of these new Pirates are provided by's Jenifer Langosch.
  • The Astros have some quality prospects, but John Manuel of Baseball America writes that their farm system still needs major help after years of bad drafts.

41 Responses to NL Central Notes: K-Rod, Pena, Phillips, Pirates Leave a Reply

  1. So who manages the All-Star Game? Matheny? 

    • Good question

    • SumatranRatMonkey 4 years ago

      It could still be La Russa or possibly Ron Roenicke.

      • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

        Yeah MLB already said Tony gets first shot and they expect him to coach.. if he decides not to Roenicke in next in line.

  2. SunsetStripper 4 years ago

    If KRod doesn’t want to set up, then maybe he should never have accepted arbitration.

    • WasianCU 4 years ago

      Why turn down arbitration when you can make 13 million, complain and get traded?

  3. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    I wonder if Pena could be convinced to platoon. I think he makes sense for the Cardinals.

    Against RHP you start Pena at 1st and Berkman in RF. Against LHP you start Berkman at 1st and Craig in RF.

    Both ways you have a really good bat off the bench.

    • phillipmike 4 years ago

      I dont think Pena will get a starting job anywhere. St. Louis is the perfect spot for him as he can win the starting job if his average gets better.

      I think it is a very good match if it is on a one or two year deal. 

      As a Jays fan to a Cards fan… Sorry to hear about Pujols but a 10 year contract is not what the Cards need though i would have loved to see Pujols stay on the Cards for life. It will work out in the end.

    • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

      No way.. Pena can stay in Chi town of go to the Brewers.. Cards need to make a trade for a soild SS (Hanley) and/or go after Beltran on a 2-3 year deal.

  4. Vossome93 4 years ago

    I wasn’t mad at the Cardinals for letting Pujol$ go. I will be extremely upset if they sign Pena, tho.

  5. SunsetStripper 4 years ago

    Don’t quote me on this, but I think Ron Roenicke would fill in.  I could see MLB letting LaRussa do it though if he wanted to.

  6. Alex 4 years ago

    Does it seem odd to anyone else that K-Rod would accept arbitration after all his whining that he didn’t get to close games in Milwaukee?

    • Not really. Worst case is he makes 12-13 mil and is unhappy for a year before taking another shot at FA. Best case, he gets traded no later than the all star break to a team in need of a closer.

    • That was a big mistake from Milwaukee. K-Rod would not has signed for more than 9 a year but Milwaukee wanted a draft pick  and now they are stuck with the higgest paid set up man in MLB. Bad move they didn’t anticipate K-Rod accepting arbitration.  

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        “now they are stuck with the higgest paid set up man in MLB.”

        Rafael Soriano would pop in to say hi, but he’s busy counting his money.

  7. Luhnow is inheriting a farm with some pretty high ceiling guys. This can only mean good things going forward, especially if Luhnow hits it big in the 2012 draft. 3 of the first possible 60-70 picks.

  8. phillipmike 4 years ago

    I dont think K-rod whined. Correct me if i am wrong he waived his NTC to go to the Brewers knowing that Axford was the closer. I would accept it for 11 plus million.

    • He did that because he was told he would get opportunities to close. That didn’t happen with Axford pitching lights out for the remainder of the season.

    • CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

      He didn’t whine at first, but after he wasn’t getting a shot at closing any games, he became vocal saying he felt lied to and whatnot. 

  9. mondaymorninggm 4 years ago

    i’d love to see pena come to the stl… he’s good for some pop and he’s supposedly a fantastic clubhouse guy. i seem to remember him being a great defensive guy with tb too. 2 years maybe 16 mil… idk what he’s wanting. but the cards will prolly just sign furcal and a lefty for the pen

  10. cardsfan1988 4 years ago

    I could see a start of the season with Pena at first and Berkman in right field until Craig gets healthy from the knee surgery. After Craig gets back, I see Pena and Berkman switching days at first. If it is only a 1year deal and at a cheap price…about 6-8 million im for it, but if it is over that, I would hope the Cardinals would save their money.

  11. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    “Carlos Pena is “in play” as a possibility for the Cardinals”

    Only a slight downgrade, really. A more than adequate replacement for the best position player in the MLB.

    • A slight downgrade? I value defense, but thats absurd.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        But he hits the home runs!

        • TophersReds 4 years ago

          There not even comparable. Pena hits less homers than Pujols and .100 less on the batting average.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            I know sarcasm is hard to read on the internet, but really, people?

          • WasianCU 4 years ago

            Its absurd to even debate Pena vs. Pujols….

  12. Fielder should sign with the Cards and wear #5.

  13. mondaymorninggm 4 years ago

    who isnt a downgrade??? id rathr have pena for 16 than pulols for 250! i’m in stl and pujols may really be 31 but he regardless has the body of a 37 year old. it was a good move. now move on. who is left??

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      “who isnt a downgrade??”

      Jimmie Foxx?

      “pujols may really be 31 but he regardless has the body of a 37 year old.”

      In what regard? Unless you’re seeing things sag that the rest of us are not privy to, this statement is baseless. The guy has never missed more than 20 games in a season for his entire career. The dude broke his wrist and still came back in like two weeks and proceeded to immediately tear the cover off of the ball upon his return.

      I’m a 27 year old and if that’s what the body of a 37 year old performs like, I’m suddenly not nearly as concerned about the big 3-0 coming up as I was before.

  14. chaifetz10 4 years ago

    Does David O’Brien not realize this is old news?  He may know someone who told him this, but all he had to do was read the STL Post Dispatch the day after TLR retired for this info…

  15. The_BiRDS 4 years ago

    ya.. its not a one man team.. this isnt basketball

    • STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 4 years ago

      I’m sure had Pujols gotten hurt during any crucial post season run the last 11 years, you would be attributing it to Pujols being out. You cannot have it both ways.

  16. STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 4 years ago

    For such “classy” fans, I’m surprised at this comment. He only won your team 2 championships while being dramatically underpaid for his value.

  17. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    In fairness, one could argue he’s potentially still underpaid if Fangraphs is to be believed.

  18. All by himself huh?  No help from Rolen, Edmonds, Carpenter, Molina, Holliday, Berkman, Freese.  Wow he is good.

  19. The_BiRDS 4 years ago

    Take it easy buddy.. thats all Cardinal fans got from the Cubs for the past 10 years.. figure it would be fun to try it on for size. I am total thrilled that the Angels (out of every other team other than the Cardinals) got Pujols.

  20. STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 4 years ago

    Without Pujols, you guys would have never sniffed a World Series appearance. Just like now moving forward.

  21. Pujols would have never sniffed the big leagues if it wasn’t for St. Louis.

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