NL Central Notes: Burnett, Madson, Kvasnicka

Let's celebrate perhaps the last year of a six-team NL Central with spring training links for all the clubs…

  • Pirates infielder Gustavo Nunez, who was taken from the Tigers in December's Rule 5 draft, was placed on the 60-day DL with a right ankle injury, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  Side effects of the move: the Pirates buy some time before deciding whether to put Nunez on the 25-man roster, and a 40-man roster spot is opened for new acquisition A.J. Burnett.
  • The Burnett acquisition creates competition at the back end of the Pirates' rotation, writes Biertempfel.  He believes Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens will battle for the last spot, if everyone is healthy.  Burnett talked to reporters this morning.  One interesting news tidbit was his comment that one ever asked him about a potential Angels trade, though he confirmed he's not interested in the West Coast for family reasons.  Unprompted, Burnett debunked the rumors about his wife's transportation preferences, saying with a smile, "She loves to fly."
  • Ryan Madson's $8.5MM commitment with the Reds is spread out over three budgets, explains ESPN's Buster Olney: "$2MM during the 2012 season, $2MM in deferred salary on Nov. 1, 2012 — which is the start of the 2013 budget — and another $2MM in deferred salary, without interest, on Nov. 1, 2013, at the outset of the 2014 fiscal year. In the middle of that, they have a $2.5MM buyout on an $11 million option for 2013."  On the topic of his one-year deal, Madson told's Mark Sheldon, "I take it as motivation to show people again, to prove that it's real.  It's unfortunate it's that way but I'm not complaining. I'm very happy. I'm very privileged to have this opportunity, and I just want to run with it and show people that I will be OK."
  • Righty Brett Tomko always wanted to come back to Cincinnati, he told John Fay of the Enquirer.  Tomko said it's taken two years to recover from a 2009 pinched nerve.
  • The Astros could have a new player at all nine positions for Opening Day 2012 compared to '11, writes Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Astros 2010 supplemental first-round pick Mike Kvasnicka is moving back to catcher from third base, tweets Levine.  Kvasnicka was recently ranked 25th among Astros prospects by Baseball America.
  • "I'm not one to look back with animosity, however people or fans want to view my time there," former Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Hendry noted that it was "just nice" to be wanted by the Yankees, "the most storied franchise in sports."  He's now with the Yankees as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman, and isn't worrying about becoming a GM again.
  • "They always say contract years turn out to be great years," Brewers starter Chris Narveson mentioned to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are entering contract years, while Randy Wolf has a $10MM club option for '13 with a $1.5MM buyout.
  • Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright refuses to put a limit on his innings following 2011 Tommy John surgery, he told's Jenifer Langosch, but she notes that GM John Mozeliak has said 200 frames is likely out of the question.

25 Responses to NL Central Notes: Burnett, Madson, Kvasnicka Leave a Reply

  1. Stuartsmith1988 3 years ago

    So is Burnett theirs ace?

    • domaug 3 years ago

      it would either be him or Bedard i think

      • James Attwood 3 years ago

        If Bedard is healthy, since they open against Philly, I would suspect that he is their ace. However, if Burnett pitches anything close to his ability and responds to moving to the NL Central the way it is expected he will, it is entirely likely that, yes, he becomes their ace.

  2. Thomas Wilson 3 years ago

    That Madson deal just gets better

    • if he performs…

      •  you could say that about every single contact in baseball..  If he performs well of course if he performs its a great deal.  Are you expecting him to flop? 

  3.  Why in the world would Burnett NOT have Pittsburgh on his no-trade list? 

    • James Attwood 3 years ago

      Why would he? If he is only going to have 10 teams and he wants to stay off theleft coast, there’s no reason to put them on there. Limited NTCs are usually either used to (like in Burnett”s case) give create some personal/family stability, or to create bargaining leverage. He wanted to stay east, he got to. If he had been looking for bargaining leverage, the Pirates still would have been unlikely to be on the list, as they would have been unlikely to be seen as trade partners.

    • TophersReds 3 years ago

      At least Burnett’s agent actually filed for the no-trade teams, haha.

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      When you sign a 5/$82MM contract, the last place you think you’re going to end up is in Pittsburgh.

  4. RedSx799 3 years ago

    Pittsburgh Pirates, your 2012 World Series Champions!

    …unless they’re not.

    • Nick Punto, your 2012 Red Sox starting short stop!

      • RedSx799 3 years ago

        that’s funny. yeah, the Sox have a Punto/Aviles Platoon at Short. One can hit (Aviles) one can field (Punto). don’t get your point. I made a joke and I think yours was meant to be one anyway. but mine was in jest because come on who expects the Pirates to do anything? Where as the Punto thing I guess is meant to be a “ha, ha, ha, Boston sucks”?

  5. You just gotta love Wainwright. That man is completely devoted to the Cardinals and extremely determined to come back. If Molina leaves then he’s definitely my favorite player.

  6. Josh Conn 3 years ago

    Karstens and Correia battle for the 5th spot?  Karstens was good to excellent last year, but got a tired arm.  Correia was good in the first half, awful in the second, and made his outfielders tired from chasing his mistakes.  I would say at this point they are both in the rotation until Morton is healthy, then 1 of McDonald/Correia/Morton is in the bullpen.  After last year’s performance, I just don’t see Karstens having to compete for anything unless he is awful in camp or they feel his arm can’t take being a starter.

    • It would be nice if it turned into:  Bedard/Burnett/McDonald/Morton/Lincoln or Locke.  That would mean they can have Karstens and Correia coming out of the pen.  That looks MUCH better, but it will only work if Lincoln and Locke can put it together.  I think they will.  Lincoln looked better after Searage got with him and Locke just needs time.  Really like the mix of 3 strikeout guys and sinkerballer.

    • bigpat 3 years ago

       Yeah, Karstens pitched very well last year, hoping with a full year of starting under his belt he will get the durability and stamina problems fixed because that was really his only problem. It’s nice to have a pitcher who is economical with his pitch count, I remember many times he’d go 6-7 innings throwing under 90 pitches. He’s a much better option than Correia.

  7. The last Astros regime failed in every attempt at developing a catcher (Towles, Castro). It would be funny if it turned out they drafted a good one, but they had him at third base.

  8. formerdraftpick 3 years ago

    Gustavo Nunez = Donnie Veal Part II

  9. Ian_Smell 3 years ago

    No way Karstens deserves to be put in the bullpen, he was their best starter last year. I wonder why McDonald isn’t being considered for the bullpen, though I would prefer Correia out of them all.

  10. Joveoak 3 years ago

    Probably by the same reason injured players return to the active list at season’s end:  it’s formality to injured players.

  11. RedSx799 3 years ago

     It’s gonna be a Seattle-Pittsburgh World Series obviously.

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