Central Notes: Cubs, Veras, Santana, Pirates

The Jose Veras signing makes sense for the Cubs since he comes at an affordable rate, has experience, and can groom the younger guys like Pedro Strop, opines Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com (via Twitter). Earlier tonight, the Cubs agreed to sign Veras to a one-year, $4MM deal with a $5.5MM club option for 2015.  Here's more out of the AL and NL Central..

  • Before agreeing to his deal with the Cubs, Veras tells Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (on Twitter) that he also had an offer from the Mariners. The Rockies and Astros were also among the clubs with reported interest.
  • Even after the Mike Pelfrey agreement, the Twins are maintaining dialogue with Johan Santana's representatives, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). For his part, Santana is very open to a return.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel checked in with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and it doesn't sound like the club is closing in on a first base solution.  "It's pretty quiet," said Melvin. "We know all the names. It's a small group. Nothing changes from one day to the next. Ike Davis is the one player people talk about. Other than that, there's not much available."   Haudricourt also asked Melvin about Rangers' first baseman Mitch Moreland, but Melvin says that at last check, Texas said they won't move him. 
  • With multiple question marks, David Schoenfield of ESPN.com feels that the Pirates are likely to regress in 2014.