Though two NL Central veterans dominated headlines this offseason, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder signed with American League teams and Aramis Ramirez's three-year, $36MM deal with the Brewers was the largest free agent contract by any of the division's six teams. Here are the latest links from the NL Central…
- The Pirates announced that they expect A.J. Burnett’s eye injury to sideline him until two or three months from now. The right-hander underwent surgery today after injuring himself in a bunting drill.
- Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Cardinals couldn't take the chance of letting Yadier Molina hit free agency. "We didn't extend Molina because he had a good year offensively last year,” he said. “We extended him because of the bulk of the work since he became a regular in 2005." Molina and the Cardinals finalized a five-year, $75MM extension yesterday.
- Four of the ten people Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has hired might be described as geeks or nerds, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports from the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston (Twitter links). Luhnow said he’s had a clean slate, since the Astros weren't doing much in terms of analytics before hiring him.