Hundreds of trade conversations will take place between clubs in the weeks leading to Opening Day. Few of the discussions will lead to actual deals, but teams will scout each other heavily, seeking possible fits.
If the Rockies and Cardinals are not already eyeing each other, they should be soon. The Rockies are deep in starting pitchers and infielders, two areas in which the Cardinals suddenly have needs.
Just this week, the Cardinals lost right-hander Adam Wainwright, who will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season, and infielder Nick Punto, who has a sports hernia and will be out two to three months.
The Rockies currently have seven starting pitchers –right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez, left-hander Jorge De La Rosa and righties, Aaron Cook, Jason Hammel, Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers and Felipe Paulino. Cook already is experiencing shoulder soreness. Paulino is out of options, and cannot be sent to the minors without clearing waivers.
The Rockies’ extra infielders – Chris Nelson, Eric Young Jr., Jonathan Herrera and Jose Lopez – also could appeal to the Cardinals. Herrera, a switch-hitter who can play shortstop, probably is the most valuable member of the group.
No talks have taken place between the teams, according to a major-league source; the Cardinals are exploring internal options first, and the Grapefruit and Cactus seasons have yet to begin.
For now, talk of a possible match is merely speculation. But the Cardinals and Rockies will be two teams to watch, even if they do not deal with each other.
— Ken Rosenthal