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NL Central Notes: Brewers, Conrad, Pirates, Francisco

The Brewers will honor Bob Uecker with a statue that will be unveiled on August 31.  The legendary broadcaster joins Bud Selig, Robin Yount and Henry Aaron as other Milwaukee baseball heroes who are immortalized in statue form at Miller Park.  At least, that's the intended location, as Uecker joked, "It's not going to be at (Miller) Park. Robin and Henry wanted their statues moved if mine was put there."

Some more news from the Brewers and elsewhere in the NL Central...

  • The Brewers are looking for middle infield help but GM Doug Melvin said that it's a tough market since many other teams are looking for the same thing, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  The Phillies, Athletics and Twins are just a few of the clubs known to be hunting for infielders.  McCalvy also covers several other Brewers-related topics as part of this fan chat. 
  • Brooks Conrad is one internal infield option that the Brewers seem likely to keep on the roster, reports McCalvy.  Conrad is in camp on a minor league deal and manager Ron Roenicke noted the value of Conrad's ability to play several positions and switch-hit.  If Conrad is kept on the Major League roster, he will earn $510K.  Conrad can play second, so the Brewers would probably focus on finding a shortstop if they do acquire another infielder.
  • The Pirates' projected $52MM payroll makes sense for the team right now, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, as there weren't any clear opportunities to spend last winter and the Bucs need to save their money for key long-term pieces (like Andrew McCutchen and his new six-year contract extension).
  • Juan Francisco's failure to come to camp in shape and with a calf injury properly rehabiliated, not to mention his poor performance this spring, has turned him from a "near-lock" to make the Reds roster into a question mark, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.  Francisco is out of options, as is Wilson Valdez, another contender for a spot on Cincinnati's bench.
  • Also from Sheldon (via Twitter), he shoots down internet rumors linking the Reds and Phillies in a Brandon Phillips-for-Cole Hamels deal.  No surprise that rumor is "false," it doesn't make sense for either team.  
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tries to predict the Astros' Opening Day roster.
  • Here are some Cardinals and Cubs news items from earlier today on MLBTR.








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