Rangers seem likely to land Lohse; could Cardinals profit from a Texas deal?

Posted by Scott Wuerz on March 4, 2013 

It looks like there may finally be some action on the Kyle Lohse front.

Less than a month before the 2013 season starts, Lohse is still without a contract. But the Texas Rangers, long considered a favorite landing spot for the 16 game winner from 2012, now seem desperate for pitching.

Texas southpaw Martin Perez over the weekend broke his pitching arm when hit by a line drive during an exhibition game. He's expected to be out for a considerable amount of time. According to the Rangers, Perez won't even be able to pick up a baseball for at least a month. After that sort of layoff it could take a long while to get his arm back in shape.

The Rangers were already short in the rotation and had wavered on their willingness to part with a first round draft pick to get ahold of Lohse. Texas has the 24th pick in the June draft.

I'm not sure if sign and trade deals are allowed in Major League Baseball. But there are other ways the Cardinals, who need a shortstop, and Texas, which needs pitching, might be able to get together and make both sides happy.

If the Rangers were so inclined to trade Elvis Andrus -- now that they have fellow shortstop Jurickson Profar ready to take over -- the Redbirds could at least help replenish the Texas farm season from their wealth of prospects and eliminate the blow of Texas losing a draft pick to sign Lohse.

Meanwhile, St. Louis GM John Mozeliak continues to soft pedal the Cardinals need for a shortstop to replace Rafael Furcal. 

The team learned Sunday that Furcal is having trouble with the ligament in his throwing elbow that shut him down for last season. Since it's fairly obvious that six months of rest did absolutely nothing to improve the situation, surgery is likely in order. And that could shut Furcal down for the entire season.

The Cardinals might be able to fill Furcal's shoes in the field. But there is no one in house who can both play shortstop and provide the All-Star quality offense he provided last season before the injury started to diminish his ability.

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