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Cards courted second-base options over winter

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JUPITER, Fla. -- As the Cardinals continue evaluating their in-house second-base options during the early days of Spring Training, it's become evident that the organization looked aggressively all offseason to supplement those candidates with another.

On Saturday, Marco Scutaro told CSNbayarea.com that he turned down a two-year, $18 million offer from the Cardinals to return to the Giants, who will pay him $20 million over the next three seasons. The Cardinals had eyed Scutaro not so much as a backup option at shortstop but rather as a potential starting second baseman.

On Monday, Alex Gonzalez confirmed to MLB.com that the Cardinals had made a hard recruiting pitch to him. Gonzalez, who re-signed with the Brewers on Feb. 6, said the Cardinals scouted him during a December workout Gonzalez had to show clubs that his knee was healthy. Gonzalez tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on May 5 and missed the rest of the season.

Gonzalez said that he then heard from manager Mike Matheny, who talked to him about getting extensive playing time at second base. According to Gonzalez, talks about a potential one-year deal never materialized into a firm offer.

Gonzalez's contract with the Brewers includes a base salary of $1.45 million with incentives worth up to $1 million more. In 14 Major League seasons, Gonzalez has never played anywhere but short.

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