ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers won the National League Central with 96 wins, and the Cardinals claimed the Wild Card with 90 wins. Both are in the NL Championship Series.
Based on Wednesday's big non-postseason news, the division is on the verge of getting even stronger.
Theo Epstein, the architect of two World Series titles with the Red Sox, is reportedly about to sign a five-year deal to run the Cubs' baseball operations.
"All jobs have their challenges, and all divisions have their own challenges," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said prior to Wednesday's NLCS Game 3. "But when you look at the landscape of the Central, it's obviously changing. New ownership in Chicago. Potential new ownership in Houston. Both are major markets. If you compared it to say, maybe 10 years ago, the look would be different."
Epstein is a proven winner and one of the highest profile executives in the game.
"When you look at that type of hire, they're obviously changing their strategy and how they're going about it," Mozeliak said. "Not knowing what they're going to do or how they're going to attack it doesn't necessarily mean instant success for 2012, but they surely are looking at this long term and for that leadership."
Under Epstein's watch, the Red Sox ended an 86-year World Series drought when they won the title in 2004. The Cubs, of course, are looking to put to rest a "curse" that has lasted more than 100 years.
"There is unique history in the sense of what [Epstein had] in Boston," Mozeliak said. "It had been a while since they had success, especially to the level that he brought them to. Obviously, Chicago is trying to replicate that. But I don't want to speak for them."