Cardinals have interest in shortstop Erick Aybar

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CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler shares this scoop:

After talking to the White Sox about Alexei Ramirez and checking in with the Phillies on Jimmy Rollins, the Cardinals have now been in touch with the Angels about Erick Aybar, according to sources.

Anaheim surely wants young pitching prospects in return and that’s something the Cardinals possess.

Aybar, 29, is batting .280/.309/.384 with four home runs, five stolen bases and 37 RBI in 82 games this season for the 48-56 Halos. Pete Kozma, 25, is hitting .241/.286/.304 in 96 games for the 62-41 Cards.

Aybar is making a $8.5 million salary this year and owed a total of $25.5 million from 2014 to 2016.

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UPDATE, 8:41 p.m. ET: Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM says the Angels want one of the Cardinals’ top two pitching prospects — Carlos Martinez or Michael Wacha — along with Kozma in return for Aybar. The Cardinals are “reluctant” to do the trade at that lofty price, according to Bowden’s source.

UPDATE, 8:56 p.m. ET: Bowden reports that the Cardinals have made it clear to the Angels that they will not trade Martinez or Wacha for Aybar. The asking price will have to come down for this one to work.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.