NL Central Notes: Molina, Astros, Das

There's been lots of Pirates buzz today, following Andrew McCutchen's six year, $51.5MM contract extension. Here are some notes on the rest of the division…

  • Yadier Molina's representatives were preparing to aim for a seven-year deal in the $140MM range if the catcher had reached free agency, according to Jon Heyman of Some teams might have been willing to part with that kind of cash for Molina, an elite two-way player. "He's like the Deion Sanders of catchers,'' one executive told Heyman. Molina, who would have been eligible for free agency following the 2012 season, signed a five-year, $75MM extension with the Cardinals last week.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that he believes discipline is necessary for building an MLB team. “The analogy I use is blackjack,” Luhnow said. “You play perfect strategy over a long haul, that’s going to be your best outcome." Tim Dierkes spoke with Luhnow last week.
  • Arbitrator Shyam Das was recently in the news for ruling in favor of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, but as Cary Spivak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains, the 67-year-old former law professor has ruled on a number of important MLB issues in the past. Das has dealt with trades, player discipline and other disputes between the players' union and MLB. Spivak's piece offers a personal look at the low-profile arbitrator.

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