The Cardinals have taken homefield advantage in the NLCS, as they will host the next three games against the Giants beginning with Wednesday's Game Three. Kyle Lohse will start for the Cards against Giants ace Matt Cain, a matchup that is also tentatively lined up for a possible seventh game between the two clubs. Here's the latest from St. Louis...
- Dan Lozano, Carlos Beltran's agent, says he kept his client "informed step by step" of negotiations with the Giants last winter, reports John Shea and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The facts are, they never made us an offer, and we never talked money or years," Lozano said. "They put us in a holding pattern until they knew if they were going to pull off the [Angel Pagan] trade or not." Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans told Shea yesterday that the team had several conversations with Lozano about Beltran last offseason, discussing contract details but without making a formal offer.
- Lance Berkman won't make a decision about his playing future until February, reports B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (Twitter link). Berkman said he'll listen to offers from other teams but is looking to play for a contender and for a decent salary: "If it's Seattle for $500K, then no." The veteran seemed to be hinting at retirement earlier this season and already some post-career plans lined up as a student and assistant baseball coach at Rice University.
- In recent years, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak tells MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince that he has put more focus on personal character when acquiring new players. "Back in 2010, we really felt we had to change the makeup of our clubhouse," Mozeliak said. "We brought in guys like [Ryan] Theriot, [Gerald] Laird, Berkman. It just brought a level of professionalism and fun to our clubhouse....When you're young in this job, the first thing you're looking at is talent first. Then you realize it's got to be a tight-knit group for long-term success."
- Seventeen of the 25 players on the Cards' postseason roster were fully developed within the team's own minor league system, a testament to the Cardinals' minor league development process, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. "For us it's the way we can have sustained success," Mozeliak said. "Strategically, we understood years ago that we had to produce players internally to be successful. That's not to say that we won't go to the free-agent market and that we can't augment that way, but it does not have to be our oxygen to survive."