A lot of NL Central transaction news today. It all affects the Cubs, so we’ll keep bringing it.

The Cardinals dumped second baseman Adam Kennedy yesterday, and will look for a new boyfriend.

The Cardinals assume Kennedy’s $4 million salary for the upcoming season; Kennedy becomes a free agent.

Monday’s move creates an open competition for the position, barring a trade or free agent signing. Brendan Ryan, Brian Barden, Tyler Greene, Joe Thurston, Jarrett Hoffpauir and Skip Schumaker are considered the front-runners should the club promote from within. STLtoday.com.

More on the move, after the jump.

Kennedy hasn’t been any good for a couple years. In fact, in his two seasons with the Cardinals, he didn’t manage to eclipse the not-so-hard-to-eclipse .700 OPS mark. So I have no doubt that this move makes the Cardinals better.

The rub is the $4 mill for which they remain on the hook. Will is preclude them from going outside the club to pick up a 2nd baseman? Like, say, Orlando Hudson?

Schumaker is obviously the guy they want to win the 2nd base job. It opens up a spot in their outfield, and gives them a (relatively) plus hitter at 2nd base without having to spend a dime.

Schumaker hasn’t played anywhere but the outfield in his Major League career, but did play the infield in the minors just four years ago. A successful transition to the infield is not an impossibility, especially for a franchise that somehow turns guys like Schumaker and Rick Ankiel into quality ML hitters.

Dang I hate the Cardinals…