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Scutaro says Cardinals pushed hard to land him

Early reports from spring training indicate that Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal is throwing... But not at 100 percent.

And that's a concern since he has been resting his injured elbow since Aug. 30 and it's STILL not all the way back. Are we supposed to believe that something significant is going to happen to vastly improve Furcal's elbow in the next six weeks when six months of rest didn't do the trick?

Apparently the Redbirds front office isn't convinced that Furcal is 100 percent, either. Giants middle infielder Marco Scutaro told the Associated Press Saturday that the Cardinals made a full court press to try to bring him to St. Louis including the offer of a two-year, $18-million contract and a recruiting blitz by Matt Holliday and another player.

"I got a text from him and another player," Scutaro told the Associated Press about Holliday. "It was here or St. Louis. Two very good teams with a chance to win. I can't say anything bad about that team. They were very professional."

Scutaro decided to take $20 million from the Giants over three years instead of the St. Louis offer because he said he told them at the beginning of the offseason that he would sign for that much and didn't want to go back on his word. Otherwise, it would seem silly the Cardinals would push so far for Scutaro and not tack on a third year and two more million.

The Giants infielder said he was impressed with St. Louis and, despite their win over the Cardinals in seven games, he thought the Redbirds were the best team last year in the playoffs.

But the fact that the Cardinals would spend $9 million a year on a guy who plays second base and shortstop when they have a top prospect in Kolten Wong who will likely become the club's second baseman next season. It seems the Birds, before they settled for a fallback player in Ronnie Cedeno, were looking for a starting quality player at shortstop, not second.

That doesn't make me feel good about the team's current shortstop situation.