Cardinals “reluctant” to give five-year deal to Jimmy Rollins, could pursue Carlos Beltran

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Jimmy Rollins has been linked to the Cardinals following Albert Pujols’ departure, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that they “would be reluctant to enter the bidding for Rollins” unless he backs off demands for a five-year deal.

Philadelphia is also said to be very much against the idea of giving Rollins a five-year commitment at age 33, so the shortstop changing his stance may be inevitable.

Allen Craig is expected to replace Pujols in St. Louis’ lineup, but he’ll likely miss at least the first month or two of the season following knee surgery and Goold writes that the Cardinals “have explored what the market is for outfielder Carlos Beltran.”

Beltran’s name has been connected to surprisingly few suitors this offseason, so if the price was right on a one- or two-year deal he’d be an excellent pickup for the Cardinals.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.