In the strongest sign yet that Jimmy Rollins is likely headed back to the Phillies, the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a contract with free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal on Saturday.

The Cardinals were likely the last potential landing spot other than Philadelphia for Rollins, who has been the Phillies starting shortstop the last 11 seasons.

A high stakes chess match between Rollins and the Phillies began in early October when the first-time free agent said he wanted a five-year contract. The Phils have been looking to bring him back on a shorter deal, probably of three years. The news that Furcal is headed back to St. Louis on a reported deal of two years and $14 million means the Phillies have likely won the chess match and will get Rollins signed to a deal closer to their liking.