Cardinals may view Jimmy Rollins as fallback target if Albert Pujols doesn’t re-sign

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As the Cardinals wait for Albert Pujols to make a decision Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that they “could shift their focus to Jimmy Rollins” if the three-time MVP signs elsewhere.

Rollins obviously wouldn’t replace Pujols–in the lineup or at first base–but the Cardinals also have an opening at shortstop and with Rafael Furcal also a free agent their current depth chart has Tyler Greene as the leading in-house option.

General manager John Mozeliak made it pretty clear to Goold that he’s hoping Pujols makes a decision one way or another fairly quickly so the Cardinals can move forward with the rest of their offseason plans, many of which hinge on whether they have Pujols or a whole bunch of money to spend.

Rollins’ status may also be in limbo until Pujols makes his decision, because adding the Cardinals to the bidding mix could change his market dramatically.

U.S Defeats World in a power-packed Futures Game

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They played the Futures Game yesterday, pitting the top prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. You most likely missed it because, for reasons that have still yet to be adequately explained to me, the game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when literally all 30 major league teams are in action. Oh well.

If you did happen to see it, however, you saw a lot of bombast, as the two teams combined for eight home runs, with Team USA prevailing, 10-6. It was the United States’ eighth win in the past nine Futures Games.

Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers system hit two homers — he was the first one to do that in a Futures Game since Alfonso Soriano did it back in 1999 — but Taylor Trammell of the Reds system was the game MVP following his 2-for-2 (HR, 3B) performance. Other highlights involved Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, who threw 19 fastballs among his 27 pitches, each and every one of them hitting triple digits, with one registering at 103.1 m.p.h. Not that velocity is everything: a 102.3 m.p.h. pitch he threw ended up being deposited over the fence for a two-run homer by Luis Alexander Basabe of the White Sox system.

Also of note was a homer from Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates system. Notable for it breaking a tie and putting the U.S. up by two, but also notable because Ke’Bryan is the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes. Feel old yet?

There was a lot of back and forth, and certainly a lot of bombast, but the U.S. took its final lead on a wild pitch. Here are some highlights:

Here’s hoping, in the future, the Futures Game is moved to Sunday evening or even Monday where people will have a better chance of seeing it.