NL Central Notes: Reds, Cubs, Beltran, Pirates

Reds assistant director of media relations Jamie Ramsey provided fans with a feel-good story today, as longtime Reds staffer Chris Herrell returned to work after undergoing a bone marrow transplant 10 months ago to treat a rare form of blood cancer. The Reds' front office welcomed Herrell back with a surprise celebration this morning, writes Ramsey. Best wishes to Chris, his family and friends as he continues his recovery! Here's more out of the NL Central…

  • Sources confirmed to David Kaplan of that former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta is in Chicago today to meet with Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer. “The Cubs have a fairly long list of potential candidates and they have to handle it that way if the Girardi thing doesn’t happen,” said one scout. Other candidates include A.J. Hinch and Rick Renteria.
  • Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran will be in high demand this winter, writes Buster Olney of (Insider sub. req'd). Olney feels that the Mets, Rangers, Yankees, Orioles, Phillies, and Reds could all be players for Beltran. At 36, Beltran may prefer to go to an American League club and DH.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington deserves praise for his aggressive approach on the trade market, writes Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Miklasz notes that, in comparison, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak chose to stand pat, and it could be a difference-maker now that the two are squaring off in the NLDS. He adds that there's no way, however, that Mozeliak could have foreseen Allen Craig's injury, which forced Matt Adams into a starting role and depleted the team's bench depth.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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