Originally posted on PRO Rumors  |  Last updated 2/22/12
Next stop on our amnesty tour around baseball is the NL Central. NL CENTRAL Cubs- When you try to trade a player and no one will take him unless you pay almost all of his salary, then the amnesty clause may be the best bet for you. This is the situation the Cubs are in with Alfonso Soriano as they owe him $54mm over the next three seasons. In five seasons with the Cubs, Soriano has hit .266 while averaging 26 home runs and 73 RBIs. Reds- The Reds had been rumored to have interest in Roy Oswalt but didn't have the funds to sign him. So this is where having the amnesty clause would benefit them. They could amnesty Scott Rolen and his $6.5mm and turn around and used that money to sign Oswalt. Rolen has not played in more than 150 games since 2003 and was limited to 65 games last season. Astros- The Astros who are set to move over to the AL West next year, operated under a $76mm budget last season. That was good enough for last place, a mere 40 games back (56-106). They are obviously playing for the future and have tried to trade some of their veterans including Carlos Lee. They have not been able to trade Lee because of his no trade protection and Lee's booming cattle business near Houston. Lee is set to make $18.5mm this coming season. Using the amnesty clause on Lee would also open up first base and allow the Astros to get a look at Jonathan Singleton. Cardinals- The Cardinals like the Reds also have shown interest in free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt but also don't have the funds that it would take it sign him. With Kyle Lohse and his $11.875m salary, the Cardinals could use the amnesty clause to free up money to sign Oswalt. Lohse did perform well last season posting a 3.39 era, but in 2010 he posted a 6.55 era. Freeing up that amount of money could potentially allow the Cards to sign Oswalt to a multi-year deal. Pirates- Since I used the amnesty clause on A.J. Burnett for the Yankees and Clint Barmes and his two-year $10.5mm deal is off limits since he just signed, I turned my attention to Kevin Correia and the $3mm left on his deal. Correia went 12-11 last season while posting a 4.79 era. The concerning stat was that he posted a 4.5 k/9 his lowest in his career. Brewers- The Brewers were unable to sign Prince Fielder this past offseason because of financial reasons. If you take Randy Wolf and his $9.5mm that he is owed in ‘12 Fielder could be a Brewer again. In his two seasons with Milwaukee, Wolf has 26-22 while posting a 3.93 era while earning $18.75mm. Image taken by Scott Abelman and used under the Creative Common License Agreement.
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