The two biggest free agents available next winter could potentially come from the NL Central – Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. The Pujols negotiations have been well documented, and it was Fielder's turn to address the issue today when he arrived at the Brewers' camp. Though he declined to comment on his own contract situation, the Brewers slugger also received a few questions about Pujols. Asked whether, as a baseball fan, he wants to see the three-time MVP remain in St. Louis, Fielder replied that he'd like to see Pujols play "where he's happy," tweets MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Here are the rest of today's NL Central links:
- Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argues that the Cardinals should've done with Pujols what the Phillies did with Ryan Howard, and worked out an extension long before it became a potential distraction. Easier said than done, I'd imagine.
- The Cardinals had interest in Miguel Batista for a few years before signing him this offseason, as Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch writes. Batista, who is on a minor league contract, is the favorite to land the team's final bullpen opening.
- While Pirates president Frank Coonelly said he expects GM Neal Huntington to be with the team "for a long time," Huntington's contract will expire at the end of the 2011 season. According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the club will continue to evaluate Huntington's performance this year before making any long-term decisions.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a look at Anthony Rendon, who is the current favorite to be drafted first overall by the Pirates this summer. Rendon is being advised by Scott Boras.
- Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. was surprised the team lost its arbitration hearing with Hunter Pence, says Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner.