We’ve already shared one set of NL Central notes earlier today, and here’s even more news out of the division…
- The possible addition of Jung-ho Kang could be a sign that the Pirates are preparing to eventually part ways with Neil Walker, MLB.com’s Tom Singer writes. The Bucs have discussed an extension with Walker, who will be 31 when his current deal expires after the 2016 season, though seemingly little progress had been made. Singer notes that shortstop prospect Alen Hanson has been playing second base in Dominican Winter League action, which could simply be a developmental move, or another hint that the Pirates are covering their bases if a Walker extension can’t be worked out. Of course, this could be a moot point if Pittsburgh doesn’t sign Kang — the team has about two more weeks to work out a contract with the Korean infielder after posting the highest bid for his services.
- With the Cardinals rumored to be looking for a top-tier starting pitcher, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch speculates that this interest could be fueled by the Cubs‘ aggressive offseason. “If indeed the Cardinals view the Cubs as a rising power, then that’s another reason to make a big move here to strengthen your roster for the long haul,” Miklasz writes.
- The Cubs and WGN-TV announced a new broadcasting deal today that will see the local station air 45 Cubs games per year through the 2019 season. No financial terms of the contract were revealed. As Robert Channick of the Chicago Tribune notes, the Cubs’ local and cable TV rights are now both set to expire after the 2019 season, so the team could pursue creating its own regional sports network.