There has been speculation that the shortstop-needy Cardinals might make a run at the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki. But it won’t happen anytime soon.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals “have not called the Rockies” this spring about Tulowitzki. Heyman adds that the Colorado front office “has no interest in trading Tulo anyway.”
The Cards have the kind of top-end pitching talent that the Rockies badly want and St. Louis has deep enough pockets to take on the $144 million in salary that Tulo is still owed. But teams don’t typically trade away superstars during spring training — when they’re trying to sell tickets for the upcoming season.
Tulowitzki appeared in only 47 games in 2012 because of serious groin problems but he’ll carry a clean bill of health into 2013. The 28-year-old is a .292/.364/.504 career hitter through seven major league seasons.
The Cardinals will likely start Pete Kozma at shortstop on Opening Day if they can’t make an upgrade.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.