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Rox shot at Crosby may depend on Sox

Rox shot at Crosby may depend on Sox

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DENVER -- The Rockies' interest in free-agent infielder Bobby Crosby could go unrequited if Crosby receives what he wants -- an opportunity to start at shortstop.

Crosby, a former American League Rookie of the Year with the Athletics, has plenty of Rockies ties. He preceded current Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitkzi as the starter at Long Beach State, and Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart was a high school teammate of his younger brother, and the two remain close.

However, the Red Sox, who are seeking a shortstop, are reported to be interested in Crosby as a starter. And Major League sources tell MLB.com that "three or four" other teams expressed interest on Wednesday. Those teams were not immediately known, but it is believed there are starting opportunities among those clubs.

The Rockies have interest in an infielder who could play first base and third base, preferably a right-handed hitter. However, the Rockies are likely to have internal discussions about a left-handed hitter, Chad Tracy.

The D-backs didn't pick up Tracy's option after he hit .237 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs in 2009. But Tracy is a former 20-plus home run hitter who can play both corners, and he hit .276 with a .364 on-base percentage in 33 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter. The Rockies have seen the best of Tracy. He hit .316 against them last year, and has a .349 career average against them.

The Rockies' bullpen focus is right-hander Rafael Betancourt, whom they offered arbitration. Only if he decides to leave -- he has until Monday to accept arbitration, but can continue negotiating with the Rockies beyond that -- will the Rockies begin in earnest pursuing free-agent relievers, with La Troy Hawkins on that list. Hawkins, who pitched with the Rockies in 2007 and helped the team to its lone World Series appearance, was not offered arbitration by the Astros, and therefore would not cost the team a compensation pick in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Also, the Rockies are in a holding pattern with catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who is testing the market. The Rockies are looking to re-sign him, knowing he can handle the starting job if Chris Iannetta does not rebound from a difficult 2009.

In another development, a Rockies official denied an ESPN.com report that the club and righty reliever Huston Street, who is arbitration-eligible, are far apart in discussions about a multi-year deal. According to the Rockies, it's too early in the process to tell how far apart the sides may be. The Rockies are looking at multi-year contracts for Street and second baseman Clint Barmes.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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