Rafael Furcal Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Should Go After Troy Tulowitzki

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Rafael Furcal Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Should Go After Troy Tulowitzki
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Rafael Furcal had attempted to rehab an elbow that may have been better served to receive Tommy John surgery, but that attempt ended in failure.

Furcal will now be shut down indefinitely, and there's a strong chance that he could even miss the entire 2013 season.

Last season was disappointing for Furcal. He was limited to 121 games and posted a line of .264/.325/.346. Furcal, known for his violent swing, hit five home runs, drove in 49 and stole just 12 bases. It may have been a down season, but that production is still difficult to replace at short.

Ronny Cedeno and postseason hero Pete Kozma represent in-house options to replace Furcal, but Scott Wuerz of Yahoo! Sports suggests that Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki could be available.

That's the avenue that the Cardinals need to move towards.

While not exactly a sure-fire bet for 150-plus games a season himself, there's no denying the fact that Tulowitzki is one of the top young shortstops in the game today.

His best season came in 2011. He played in 143 games, but was still able to crush 30 home runs, drive in 105 and produce a line of .302/.372/.544. Those numbers were not anomalies when looking at his numbers from previous seasons, either.

Tulowitzki is also a very strong defensive shortstop. Not many can rival the cannon arm of Furcal, but Tulowitzki is most certainly one of them. The scary thing is, Tulo's arm might even be better.

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He won back-to-back Gold Gloves in 2010 and 2011, the same two seasons he was a member of the National League All-Star roster.

The package to acquire such a talent would be immense, however. The Rockies would not be unfair to ask for the team's two top prospects, Shelby Miller and Oscar Tavares, or packages centered around either player.

Throwing in Cedeno or Kozma could lessen the loss for the Cardinals, but neither player is good enough to really make much of an impact for Colorado.

Tulowitzki is worth it, though. He's just 28 years old and locked up through the 2021 season. He would be in St. Louis for the long haul and could lead them to several more World Series championships.

General manager John Mozeliak would be wise to pony up the prospects necessary to acquire Tulo, even if it sets the farm system back a few years.

There are already pieces in place to win now, and adding Tulowitzki into the mix could just be the icing on the cake. 

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