Central Links: Schafer, Samuel, Cust, White Sox

Nine years ago today, the Pirates signed Kenny Lofton to a one-year contract. After hitting .277/.333/.437 in 374 plate appearances for Pittsburgh, he was traded to the Cubs along with Aramis Ramirez for Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill, and Matt Bruback at the deadline. Here's the latest from two of Lofton's many former divisions, the NL and AL Central…

  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel that he has no plans to trade Logan Schafer despite the club's center field depth (Twitter link). The 25-year-old Schafer has had a strong spring but is stuck behind Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez on the depth chart.
  • The Astros and GM Jeff Luhnow intend to take a look at right-handed reliever Francisco Samuel, reports B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (on Twitter). The Cardinals – Luhnow's former team – released Samuel earlier today.
  • Jack Cust has had a slow start to Spring Training, though Luhnow indicated to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince that the slugger will continue to get chances with the Astros. They signed him to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal worth $500K with an option for 2013 this offseason.
  • "We looked to see if we could acquire some of the game's most impactful young players," said White Sox GM Kenny Williams to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com when asked about the team's rebuilding plan. "Our target list was our target list. We set the price high, and we stuck with it."

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