Last year the NL Central was a competitive division, sending two teams, the Cardinals and Reds to the playoffs. Now that the Astros have departed for the AL West, it should be even more competitive. Throw in the continued improvement of the Cubs and Pirates, and this could be one of the more difficult divisions in baseball.
Could Cubs sell?
Despite a rash of offseason spending, the Cubs may end up as sellers this summer. The team is not afraid to sell off parts if the team is out of contention, as they are still in the middle of a rebuilding phase. This makes sense because for a team that was as bad as it was in 2012, it is unlikely for them to just jump right back into contention.
Some pieces that could be traded include outfielder Alfonso Soriano and pitcher Matt Garza, both of which could fetch a decent haul on the trade market. Soriano would be a good addition for any team looking for some outfield pop, and Garza will help to bolster a team's rotation down the stretch.
Garza is getting some good news regarding his current injury, as the right-handed pitcher will begin throwing soon. It will be crucial for the team to have a healthy Garza, so that A.) he can help them try and contend, and B.) he is able to be traded at the deadline.
Stolen sausage saved
Someone thought it would be funny to steal one of the costumes from the Brewers' sausage races, but was kind enough to return it. This is a rather interesting story, as the thieves reportedly told the bartender where the costume was returned that they "you did not see anything."
I just think that a situation like this begs the question: what inspires one to steal a sausage costume?
Troy Tulowitzki and the Cardinals? What?
Dan Moore of Viva el Birdos does a good job of looking at the Troy Tulowitzki-Cardinals rumors. As fun as it would be, I do not see why the Cardinals would want to trade for the shortstop. I get the the Cardinals are an awesome team, with an awesome farm system, and a not-so-awesome shortstop situation, but I just don't see how it would make sense for them to sell-out for Tulo.
The Cardinals would probably be best-suited to try out one of their many young options at shortstop, and if none of them take hold of the job they can get another stop-gap similar to Rafael Furcal (if not Furcal himself).