It's Time to be a GM and Protect Your Players: NL Central version

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a MLB GM?

How about the GM of all 30 teams?

Over the next week or two, I will posting a real life fantasy scenario where you all will get that chance. 

Here is your scenario:

There is a new expansion draft format and for one day you get to be a GM of all 30 teams. Here's the catch; you can only protect three players from each organization (sorry not 15, then 3 more, etc., that would take way too long). You get the player as is with his current contract (it makes things more interesting). Keep in mind each teams financial statuses.

Today's version: NL Central

Much much more after the jump.

Astros protect: Michael Bourn Hunter Pence Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Jordan Lyles

Analysis: Just like Padres, I have no idea here. The only two players who I would consider locks are now gone so I'm going with prospects. Help me out here please.

Brewers protect: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo

Analysis: Braun and Gallardo are easy picks. I know some of you will question protecting Fielder, but he provides so much value for them. If you don't protect Fielder, than who, Zack Greinke?

Cardinals protect: Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Jaime Garcia

Analysis: Pending free agent or not, you have to protect  the best player in the world. I wanted to protect Adam Wainwright as my third, but I need to know for sure that his arm is back to Ace status, so until then I guess I'll take Garcia (not completely sold on it though). 

Cubs protect: Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson, Javier Baez

Analysis: Castro is a lock and the Cubs need to rebuild with young talent like Jackson and Baez. Cubs fans need to help me out a bit here.

Pirates protect: Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, James Taillon

Analysis: Besides McCutchen, this one was tough because there are no other clear cut locks to be protected.  Tabata has produced at the big league level so I put him in there. I flipped a coin between Gerrit Cole and Taillon (actually it was a coin-flip app, who has coins anymore?). This should be a good one for debate.

Reds protect: Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto

Analysis: The first two players are virtual locks, but the third spot is a bit tougher. You have Brandon Phillips who is a stud, but is in line for a big raise. The Reds need pitching and cannot afford to lose Cueto right now.

Critique away.

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