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Around the NL Central: December 23 Edition

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With the Winter Meetings in the rearview mirror, the action hasn't been as fast or furious this week in the NL Central. Still, there's a lot going on -- let's catch up with the week that was:


  • At, David Kaplan writes that he's hearing that the Cubs will embark on a "full scale house cleaning" this offseason, and he says that Prince Fielder doesn't fit into those plans.
  • This move would seem to confirm what Kaplan's hearing: word is that the Cubs have agreed to send left-handed reliever Sean Marshall -- who's been excellent in the last two years but is owed $3.1 million this season -- to the Reds for lefty Travis Wood. The deal is expected to be announced today -- update: it's official now -- after both players pass their physicals.
  • Chicago is buying low on reliever Manny Corpas, who was very good for Colorado for a couple years before he blew out his elbow and missed the entire 2011 season.
  • The only other move the Cubs made this week was bringing back reserve outfielder Reed Johnson on a one-year deal, a decision that FanGraphs says has grinders everywhere rejoicing.



  • Having dealt closer Mark Melancon to the Red Sox, the Astros find themselves without a closer entering the 2012 season, but they're in no rush to remedy that particular issue: the team will wait until Spring Training to figure out who will get the ball in the ninth inning.
  • Utility infielder Brian Bixler was designed for assignment last week to make room on the 40-man roster for the players Houston received in the Melancon trade, but Bixler cleared waivers and he's agreed to report to AAA Oklahoma City.