Cardinals and Rockies in the mix for Felipe Lopez

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Felipe Lopez headshot.jpgJon Heyman of tweets that the Cardinals are Rockies are among the teams interested in free agent second baseman Felipe Lopez.

Lopez, who turns 30 in May, has been overshadowed by Orlando Hudson of late, but is coming off a season in which he batted .310/.383/.427 with nine home runs, 57 RBI and 88 runs scored with the Diamondbacks and Brewers. Though Hudson won the Gold Glove, Lopez outperformed him in UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating). And as I compiled in November, Lopez ranked fourth among free agents in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) last season.

Lopez doesn’t have the reputation of Hudson, but he is nearly three years younger and with the ability to play shortstop, third base and the outfield, he’s far more versatile. Whoever signs him will have a found a nice bargain.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 24-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.