Cardinals keep improving

In a span of a weekend, the Cardinals took care of their two biggest needs — center field and shortstop. On Monday, the second piece of that puzzle was done when free agent Jhonny Peralta was signed to a four-year contract reportedly worth $52 million.

Click here for the story. I think you’ll recognize the name of the reporter filling in for the vacationing Jen Langosch.

In the NL Central, the pennant winners certainly haven’t stood pat.

“In the end, it all lined up nicely for us,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Monday. “There are still some things we could look at. There are still some opportunities for us over the next six, seven weeks as we progress to the Winter Meetings. But, if the clock stopped today, we’d be pretty happy with our club.”

Meanwhile, it’s been rather silent in Reds land other than the signing of catcher Brayan Pena. The Skip Schumaker deal still hasn’t been made official. I’m of the belief it’s because some juggling needs to be done to clear a spot on the full 40-man roster. I wouldn’t freak out about the lack of Reds activity. December seems to be GM Walt Jocketty’s time to pounce. Both the Shin-Soo Choo trade last year and the Mat Latos trade two years ago were done shortly after the Winter Meetings.

Also long in wait — a formal announcement of the 2014 coaching staff. I’ve heard rumblings from a couple of places that longtime first base coach Billy Hatcher will remain and be on new manager Bryan Price’s staff. I tried to reach Hatcher but was unsuccessful.

Check back here for any developments on all things Reds related.

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