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NL Central Notes: Pujols, Beltran, Cubs, Aoki

The Reds signed a catcher today and the Pirates avoided arbitration with a pair of pitchers. Here are some more notes from the NL Central...

  • Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said this weekend that his team must stay within certain financial limitations to put a competitive team on the field year after year, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Cardinals would have liked to retain Albert Pujols, but keeping him wasn’t necessarily realistic. “It's how much can I afford to pay one player and put together a team that's going to be competitive? That's the whole jigsaw puzzle that all teams have,” DeWitt said.
  • Carlos Beltran said the Indians, Rays and Giants were among the finalists for his services this offseason, MLB.com's Matthew Leach reports. Beltran said another team offered a three-year deal worth less money, B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com tweets.
  • Cubs director of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said he's looking forward to meeting with his scouts this week to find ways of drafting more effectively under the new collective bargaining agreement, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
  • Tom Haudricourt on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that there's an expectation that the Brewers will sign outfielder Norichika Aoki. They have until 4pm CDT tomorrow to sign Aoki, or else he’ll be returned to the Yakult Swallows and the Brewers will get their $2.5MM posting fee back.

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