Pirates Have Checked On Rafael Furcal

Travis Sawchik reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have checked on free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, according to his agent.

Furcal last played in the majors in 2012, after missing the 2013 season with Tommy John surgery. He’s had some mixed results defensively, with some good years and some poor years. Furcal is 36 years old, and his better offensive years are behind him. In his last two seasons he had an OPS under .700. He wouldn’t make sense as a starter, since Jordy Mercer looks like a better all-around option. He might be an option off the bench, although I think a strong defensive shortstop like Clint Barmes would make more sense as a backup to Mercer.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • swampirate

    No thank you.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/johnrussellskinner johnrussellskinner

    Pass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrishale525 Chris Hale

    pass because of his age and injury concerns . Would be 5 times the SS Mercer is if he could stay healthy. If NH was anywhere close to sold on Mercer as an every SS he’d have the job. He hits enough to keep the job but I trust him as much as would David Ortiz as an everyday 1Bmen. If Barmes had Mercer’s bat we’d be in great shape

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.martin.9003 Bob Martin

    Neal just can’t help himself, old habits die hard. The Pirates paint from the old stale pile. The only way Furcal puts on a Pirate uniform is if nobody wants him or they over pay for his services. I betting they will have to over pay for him, if that’s the case they should pass and just bring back the no hit Barmes. At least he can be a defensive replacement late in games.

  • IC Bob

    I would have no problem with Furcal if his elbow checks out. The guy really can hit and he can also run. he is a decent SS but has had a history of injuries. Put him in a rotation with Mercer and Walker and we can really upgrade our SS. Also historically Furcal has always performed best when he was looking for the next contract. If its a one year deal then I think we can expect a motivated Furcal.

  • Y2JGQ2

    Can we look beyond OPS just once? I agree its a good “overall value” indicator, but when you are building a team, how your team comes together to create that team OPS is just as important. They are pieces of a puzzle. You can’t all have corner pieces, or you can’t complete it. The fact, is that, when healthy, Furcal would provide our team with skills, experience, etc that noone on the team has. Furcal is a valuable for his base running, steady glove, veteran presence (i know i’m rolling my eyes too) he can switch hit, and he can make contact in clutch situations. There was a reason st. louis wanted him even though he was always hurt….. I’d gladly take a flier on him, he won’t be expensive, and won’t be any worse than Barmes.

    • Jared

      Furcal hasn’t had a good UZR in years (2010) and inconsistent before that. His defense has been on the decline.

  • buster09

    y2,I think I am going to agree with you. There is a reason SS became such a blackhole for the Cardinals after his arm went South.

  • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

    Ideally, he’s the kind of guy you’d like to bring in on a minor-league deal; I’m guessing someone will offer Furcal a major-league deal, and I’m hoping that someone doesn’t play their home games at PNC Park.