NL Central Links: Molina, Cards, Dempster, Reds

Congratulations to Brewers GM Doug Melvin for his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.  Joining Melvin in the 2012 CBHOF class are former Major Leaguers Rheal Cormier and Rusty Staub, plus Canada's gold-medal winning baseball team from the 2011 Pan Am Games.  The official induction ceremony takes place on June 23 in St. Marys, Ontario.

Some news from around the NL Central….

  • Yadier Molina's contract negotiations shouldn't impact either his or the Cardinals' performance in 2012, manager Mike Matheny tells Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Matheny said that Albert Pujols' departure won't influence Molina's own contract situation, though Molina is understandably disappointed that his good friend left St. Louis to sign with the Angels.
  • Also from Strauss, he runs through 11 outstanding questions facing the Cardinals heading into the season.
  • Ryan Dempster expressed an interest in remaining with the Cubs for the rest of career during an interview on MLB Network Radio's First Pitch on Thursday (interview highlights courtesy of CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney).  Dempster exercised a $14MM player option to stay with the Cubs in 2012 but it's uncertain if the rebuilding Cubs would try to bring him back in free agency.
  • The Reds' current TV contract is believed to run through 2016 and pays the team around $10MM per year, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Fay thinks the Reds will need a major upgrade in their next cable contract to compete with teams like the Angels and Padres, who have completed, or are close to competing, much more lucractive TV deals.
  •'s Tom Singer thinks Edwin Jackson (and agent Scott Boras) made a mistake in turning down one-year and three-year offers from the Pirates to sign a one-year, $11MM deal with the Nationals.  Singer feels Jackson would've re-established his value better pitching in the NL Central on the one-year contract, and the three-year deal would've given Jackson some security against either a drop in form or getting "swallowed up by a market that might include the likes of Matt Cain, Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels."

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