The club spent much of the early offseason looking for some insurance up the middle in the case that Furcal couldn't return right away, and apparently went so far as to check in on Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki during the winter meetings, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The Tulowitzki rumblings this morning are ripple effects from the winter meetings where the Cardinals, through the course of mapping the shortstop terrain for the coming season and winter, took the Colorado Rockies temperature regarding their franchise cornerstone...The Cardinals did it months ago.
Injuries held the 28-year-old Tulowitzki to just 47 games in 2012, but he is still considered one of the best shortstops in the game. The Rockies have Tulo locked up through the 2020 season for over $100 million, but with the rebuilding efforts the club is going through -- and prospect Trevor Story on his way up the farm system -- it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that Colorado could listen to offers on the shortstop.
Related: 2013 Expectations for Furcal
The Cardinals called off the shortstop search in late November when Furcal's elbow was deemed "completely healed," though now they're probably wishing they hadn't. The fact that Furcal is essentially abandoning batting from the left side of the plate this year is a pretty good indication that his elbow is not completely healed.
St. Louis did acquire Ronny Cedeno late last month as a back-up option, but it's not likely he was the guy they had in mind when they began their search for shortstop help.