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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64 Comments on "NL Central Notes: Pujols, Beltran, Cubs, Aoki"


3 years 7 months ago

Everyone just ignore Josh B. He’s just a troll.

3 years 7 months ago

Brewers>Reds>Cards

3 years 7 months ago

No Fielder, no Braun but still best in the Central…interesting

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

The Crew will be better than people are giving them credit for.  Gallardo, Marcum, Greinke is a great TOR.  They are going to need their pitching to come up big early in the season  to keep them in the hunt while Braun is out.  Once Braun gets back, they still have a good offense.  If they could be within about 4 or 5 games when Braun returns, I think they’ll make a run.

Jimbo504
3 years 7 months ago

I’m convinced Marcum has some injury that hasn’t been diagnosed. he looked toast the last month of the season. and 50 games is a LOT to miss, especially when they are losing Fielder too. They may fall so far behind that by the time they get Braun back they won’t be able to catch up.

3 years 7 months ago

Could be Reds, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Pirates, Astros…

3 years 7 months ago

I’d think the Pirates will be better than the Cubbies, but I could be wrong. They had a good first half last yr. 

3 years 7 months ago

The Reds will be in the same place they where last year… watching the Cardinals win the world series (just like Nyjer Morgan)!

Matt Weaver
3 years 7 months ago

The Reds don’t impress me. Ignore everyone with a Reds picture or avatar. It’ll be a Milwaukee/St.Louis NL Central race.

Gunner65
3 years 7 months ago

Like you’d admit it even if they did impress you hahahahahaha!

Lastings
3 years 7 months ago

Astros leave the NL in style and shock everyone in baseball by winning the division and losing in game 7 of the World Series. Really that’s just a movie plot I’m currently workshopping….

AlKelz
3 years 7 months ago

Cardinals
Reds
Brewers
Cubs
Pirates
Astros

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 7 months ago

Cards
Brewers
Reds
Pirates
Astros
Cubs

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t want to sound bitter, but I really think Dewitt made the right call.  The Cardinals would no doubt be better the next couple years with Albert in the middle of the line-up.  But years 4-10 of that contract would absolutely destroy any hopes for the Cardinals.

I just wish it didn’t end so ugly.  I don’t mind that he is moving on.  It’s the “personal services” contract or whatever at the end that bothers me. I would have liked to have him back around the ballpark as soon as he retires.  It sounds like that won’t be happening though.

I still thank him for 11 awesome years and 2 World Championships. Great player that I’ll always be able to tell my kids/grandkids about.

3 years 7 months ago

“personal services” contract or whatever at the end that bothers me…”
Good point. It really makes me wonder which hat he’ll wear when he enters the HOF. I guess it’ll all depend on his numbers in LA? 

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Eh, I think it would take a pretty amazing 5 or 6 years with some World Series’ to even make it a discussion.

3 years 7 months ago

I’m an Angels homer who loves the Pujols signing, but even I’d be pretty upset if he went in as a Halo. Hopefully Vlad will, though.

3 years 7 months ago

Is Albert Pujols going to die at age 51? You should tell him about that if you have any insider info.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

What in my post has anything to do with when Albert Pujols will die?

BD
3 years 7 months ago

My favorite is how people act surprised that a clear homer picks their team first.

My second favorite is how there is no remote possibility on earth that he could be right.  At least, not if you ask a Brewers or Cards fan.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I think it’s a pretty even race.  Go look at the Dioner Navarro comments and you’ll see why he got the response he did.  I would say he got the reaction he wanted.

3 years 7 months ago

I say the Brewers are completely out of the question. The Reds may put up a fight.. but they won’t get too far, I think they’re too young without much leadership in the dugout.. So with that said? Yeah go Cards. 

PS: for all who said we got lucky? We swept the Braves in the last series with them. We beat the Phillies in the NLDS. Luck? How? Not to mention we also beat the Brewers in the NLCS. Then of course the World Series.. How was any of this luck? It was all the mind set of the Cards and the Rangers thought they just won it all… 

bmoneyy20
3 years 7 months ago

 the brewers lose braun for 50 games and cards get adam wainright back. latos will look a lot different in cincy bandbox than  san diego’s huge park. i like what cincy has done on paper but    st l> cincy> mil.   cubs fan hoping the pirates make some noise this year

Infield Fly
3 years 7 months ago

@stl_cards16:disqus, here I am. I was giving myself vertigo typing “down the side of a cliff” like that.  :p

I really just want to say it’s refreshing having an actual decent discussion about a topic.

Got that right, buddy. Seems like a lost art these days. Too many fans come here to talk garbage, troll, or call attention to themselves in some way — instead of having  a thoughtful exchange about this magnificent sport that has captured the hearts of the Americas, and places much farther away. I have little patience for that kind of stuff.

Yes, I am a Giants fan — but make no mistake: I do not kid myself that this makes me a “master of the universe” or something, as some of my fellow fans seem to want to believe. They’re just my team, that’s all (and as an aside, I actually do like the 9’ers; a first-rate defense without a doubt, and a very proud history).

I’d say you’re right about the reception the Cards got last season vs ’06. Perhaps it’s that twice is just a little too much for some fans to take. That would be my guess. Me, I had a lot more trouble with ’06, but that was less about of the Birds and more about that choking sound coming from Flushing. I’ll bet that not a few Mets fans checked themselves into the psych ward after that season…and beyond…

Guest
3 years 7 months ago

The reds were just a one year wonder. expect another below .500 year reds fans

3 years 7 months ago

I hope this is a joke because if not then you mixed up the reds and cardinals.

3 years 7 months ago

Hate to break it to you but the Cards are still a better team than the Reds.

AisoRed
3 years 7 months ago

I think it’ll be a 3 team race between the Cards, Reds, and Brewers, but I think the Reds have the upper hand if they can stay healthy.

3 years 7 months ago

How many wins for the little league team?

Stromalama
3 years 7 months ago

Haha hilarious. Cards are still the best team in the Central.

3 years 7 months ago

Ignorance is bliss, from what I hear…

moondoggyj55
3 years 7 months ago

what astros?

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

are his posts getting close to ban-worthy?

3 years 7 months ago

ok we’ll go with that one

northsfbay
3 years 7 months ago

The Reds have one good year and they are not a fluke?

3 years 7 months ago

11 time World Champions… lot of flukes!

Becky Lee
3 years 7 months ago

hilarious delusional red fans at again it I see and when was your last trip to the WS? LOL

cardsfan209
3 years 7 months ago

Cards a fluke? What happened in 2010 when the reds got knocked swept in the first round?

Yankee_Baal
3 years 7 months ago

Come on man… Reds are stronger this year and last year the Cards were lucky. The Reds have more experience, better bullpen and Latos. The Cardinals lost Pujols, La Russa and Duncan and only have Beltran and the return of Wainwright to offset all that (and anyone could argue that the return of Wainwright loses half of its impact with the departure of Edwin Jackson).

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Well Jackson was only here half of the season so I guess it would only lose 1/4 of the impact.  Also the bullpen is SO much better than the start of last season.  I would say the bullpen is 3 games better by itself.  Cards also have Furcal for a full season > Theriot, that’s a huge upgrade too.

But, why were the Cards lucky?  Because they blew so many games in the 9th?  Because they lost their Ace? Or missed significant time from Holliday, Freese, Craig? Their best player being absolutely horrible for the first two months of the season?  I’m not finding a lot of luck to the 2011 Cardinals

Becky Lee
3 years 7 months ago

LOL more experience? Well lets see Molina, Berkman, Holliday, Carpenter, thats alot more experience than the Reds have. The Cards still have a better bullpen. Lucky? Seriously are you that delusional we beat the Phillies and the Rangers I would hardly call that lucky not to mention coming back from 10.5 games back, give us some credit at least loud mouth BP did. Besides it doesn’t matter how you get in its what you do when you get in. One could say that if the Cardinals had played better in Sept 2010 they would have overtaken the Reds and what did the Reds do in the playoffs? Got swept by the Phillies. It must have really irked Reds fans that the Cards won the WS, love that. Pujols won’t be missed that much he didn’t help us in the WS that much, one game and that was it.

sam_lammert
3 years 7 months ago

you wanna talk about luck? the reds won the division one year and then fell into oblivion, you have no room to talk luck

3 years 7 months ago

Because he said so!

3 years 7 months ago

I’m not a Cards hater, or Reds fan, but I think what people mean is they only got into the playoffs because the Braves completely collapsed. Then the Phillies choked. Then Cruz was out of position.

3 years 7 months ago

wow.. the Cardinals did not do anything right… Question??? why did the Reds miss if everyone else choked?

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

But we are talking about next years team.   So even if none of that happened, they were still a 90 win team even with all of the problems they dealt with.  So to call them a 4th place team because they are a “fluke” is pretty dumb.

3 years 7 months ago

By a country mile!!!

3 years 7 months ago

Um… I don’t really understand the question but yes, the Cards were good last year. If they or the Brewers don’t win the division this year I’ll be surprised. And, I’m not a Reds fan. The end.

3 years 7 months ago

Right, I would agree. I’m actually not Josh B. in disguise. I think there is a feeling among some (many?) that the Cardinals weren’t the best team, and yet they won the World Series, therefore: luck. And I’m pointing out some of the things people could use to support that. But like I said, if it’s not them or the Brewers this year, I’ll be surprised. Maybe the Cubs make a run. Reds? I don’t see it at all.

3 years 7 months ago

Um… Braves collapsed, Phillies choked & Cruz out of position. I would say the Cardinals caught fire & spanked the field. Enough excuses… you lose!!!

Stromalama
3 years 7 months ago

No Fielder and no Braun for 50 games. The Brewers will be a 3rd place team.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I’m not really directing this at you but I find it funny how many people make a big deal about it, when they feel the team that won is not the best team.  That’s why we have the playoffs.  The goal of baseball is to do what you have to do to get into the playoffs, then win 11 games.  The team that does that is the best at what the goal of baseball is.

If you(or anyone) would like a sport where they just pick the “best teams” to play for a championship, I would recommend college football.  The BCS is suited just for those people.  But, then I’m sure when their team doesn’t get chose for the National Championship, it’s wrong to not have a playoff.

In other words, complainers will complain.  The Cards are World Champs and it counts just as much as any other champion.

Infield Fly
3 years 7 months ago

Mmm….you make some good points, but outside of homers who think their team should always win no matter what, I think a great many fans would prefer to see the best team win vs one that just got lucky. It just feels more “right.”

Having said that, however, I would not begrudge the Cards their win last season, any more than I would want others to begrudge my team if they’d won. Fair is fair. The Cards won — no matter how they did it — and it was quite astonishing to watch.

So a sincere congratulations to the Cards and their fans. Enjoy your achievement — and hey…maybe one of us “other” teams will get you guys next time! 😉

AisoRed
3 years 7 months ago

No Braun isn’t a sure thing yet. Also, we have KRod for the whole year and Greinke for an extra month. Also, Cards lost Pujols, so what makes them better?

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

Just a question.  Do you think how people look at it, is also judged on the market they play in?

For instance.  Say the NY Giants win the Super Bowl.  Do you think people will consider them “lucky”?  I don’t.  They went 9-7 and took the Cowboys playing horrible to get in.  I would even say more people would call the 49ers winning the Super Bowl lucky, before they would call the Giants winning it lucky.

stl_cards16
3 years 7 months ago

I’ll come back over here. I really just want to say it’s refreshing having an actual decent discussion about a topic.

I’ll agree that many would like the best team to win it or at least two of the better teams to be playing for a championship. I’m the same way with March Madness. I love the upsets in the first couple rounds, but when it gets to the Final Four, give me the big boys.

One thing I find odd though, the Cardinals seem to be getting more crap this year than in 2006. Sure it took a team to fall apart this year, but at least the Cardinals were a playoff quality team unlike 06.

Are you a Giants fan?

Infield Fly
3 years 7 months ago

Regarding the NY Football Giants, I remember how it was in 2007, and there were a number of fans who did definitely think there was luck (or maybe good fortune) involved in their Super Bowl win (although less so vs the Cowboys). I was among them. Others went on and on about “destiny” in a way I thought was pret-ty homerish. In the end I’m sure it was a combination of luck, effort and determination that got them to the finish line — and not something to get all cocky about.

I also agree that more fans would consider a SF Super Bowl win more of a fluke than if the Giants won. DEFINITELY! (more of that well-documented “east coast bias,” I fear). But hey…the NFC Championship hasn’t even been played yet so we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here…  :p

Anyway, stl_cards16, I just want to say that we are dealing with a difference in perspective here, and I am not at all sure there is a “right” or “wrong” answer. I do respect that you have a different opinion, and it’s actually cool with me.

What I am NOT cool with is typing straight down the page like this. I feel like I’m in free-fall or something. Kind of reminds me of a certain baseball team in the NL East…and their ownership! : D
(Shouldn’t be laughing, I know…).

3 years 7 months ago

You didn’t hear? Reds getting swept by the Phils was a fluke too! LOL

3 years 7 months ago

Actually, in EVERY shape AND form until they prove otherwise. 

3 years 7 months ago

The fact they don’t have to sit & wait for AP to hit that 3-run homer anymore. They will push each other more to prove they can do it w/out AP. 
Plus, a healthy Wainwright!

sam_lammert
3 years 7 months ago

and went under .500 in 2011

3 years 7 months ago

I’m also not cool with the free fall typing. But yeah, difference in perspective.

3 years 7 months ago

I’m not really your enemy here, John.

Rangersfan32
3 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t say the Cardinals spanked the Rangers at all in the series overall. Texas had the series won easily, then Cruz made easily the most forgettable play in Texas franchise history. But don get me wrong here. The Cards absolutely spanked Texas in game 7, and I give them full credit for that. Hopefully Texas can make it one more out this year.