NL Central Notes: Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs

Big changes are in store for the Cardinals' roster, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. In the bullpen, Strauss lists John Axford and Edward Mujica as two players who are unlikely to return next season, while David Freese, Pete Kozma and Carlos Beltran could be gone on the position player side. Let's run through the latest from around the NL Central:

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold provides a postmortem on the Cardinals' season in a radio interview with
  • St. Louis brass have yet to decide on whether they'll try to re-up with Beltran, though parting ways with the outfielder would allow them to start Allen Craig in right field, as the club would like to do, Goold says. Such a move would also open a spot for outfield prospect Oscar Taveras, while Matt Adams could get regular time at first base.
  • The Pirates must address holes at first base and right field this winter, and will probably also look to acquire a starter, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Brink profiles several options that are available in free agency, including James Loney at first and Corey Hart in right.
  • MLBTR's Steve Adams examined departing Pirates first baseman Justin Morneau in an entry in our Free Agent Profile series earlier today.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times rounds up the current state of the Cubs' managerial search, reporting that the club expects to have hired a skipper sometime around the end of the week. 

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