Here’s the latest from the other teams in the NL Central…
Cincinnati: The Reds are reportedly close to signing former Giants utility infielder, 27-year old Emmanuel Burriss, to a Minor League contract. Burriss was first-year eligible for arbitration this winter. He batted .213 in 60 games last season, but is a .243 lifetime hitter playing in parts of the last five seasons.
Milwaukee: The Brewers have announced plans for two renovations at Miller Park that will be completed by Opening Day 2013. Milwaukee will upgrade the Dew Deck above the right-field bleachers with a 25-foot rock-climbing wall shaped like a Mountain Dew can and other new features, and the Home Plate Lounge will undergo several changes, including a change up of the concession stands.
Pittsburgh: The Pirates have signed six minor league free agents to their 40-man roster, including former Cubs and Orioles outfielder Felix Pie. Pie has hit .249 in 398 games with the Cubs and the Orioles in previous years, but spent all of last season at the Triple-A level with Atlanta’s Gwinnett Braves. The other players signed include pitchers Brooks Brown, Erik Cordier, David Bromberg and Luis Sanz, and infielder Alex Valdez, who hit .359 in the Mexican League last summer.
Chicago: The Cubs acquired 23-year old right-handed pitcher Barret Loux and a player TBD from the Rangers on Tuesday for 24-year old Jake Brigham, a right-handed pitcher who was acquired in July from Texas for catcher Geovany Soto. Loux was named the 2012 Double-A Texas League Pitcher of the Year after going 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 regular-season starts. He helped the team reach the Texas League Championship Series, led the league in wins and finished sixth in ERA while striking out 100 batters and walking 41 over 127 innings. He was originally selected as the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Texas A&M. Brigham made two starts for Double-A Tennessee after being acquired by the Cubs, going 0-2 with a 19.64 ERA before his season was cut short by a right elbow strain.
Houston: The Astros are in the NL Central no more! They will be joining the AL West next season, making it the first time that there will be five teams in both the NL and the AL, as well as the first time that there will be five teams in each of the MLB’s six divisions. Their futility will be missed, as they hadn’t finished better than 4th in the NL Central standings in any of the past four seasons, and have lost 106 and 107 games respectively over the last two seasons.
That’s a wrap folks, hope everyone is having a happy and healthy holiday!