For the Marlins, Furcal should be a substantial upgrade at his new position. Primary starter Donovan Solano and backups Derek Dietrich and Chris Valaika combined to hit just .234/.291/.348 last season, giving the Marlins some of weakest production from the position in the game.
Another veteran free agent with World Series championship experience is about to join the Marlins. MLB.com has confirmed that the Marlins and Rafael Furcal have agreed to a one-year deal, and he is expected to start for Miami at second base. The deal, first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, is pending completion of a physical. The Sun-Sentinel reported the contract is believed to be for $3.5 million plus incentives. Furcal, 36, missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery in his right elbow. A career shortstop, Furcal was a key part of the Cardinals' World Series championship team in 2011. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2012, playing 121 games for St. Louis.
The Marlins and veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 million plus incentives, sources have confirmed. But Furcal isn't expected to play shortstop for the Marlins.
The Marlins already have Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop, so Rosenthal hears that they plan to use Furcal as their regular second baseman in 2014. The 36-year-old has only appeared in 36 games at second base during his 13-year major league career, but the position switch might be a good idea for him at this point after he missed the entire 2013 season following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Furcal, 36, did not play at all in 2013 after having Tommy John surgery. He last played with the Cardinals in 2012, when he hit .264/.325/.346 (85 OPS+) with five home runs and 12 stolen bases in 121 games. Due to continued injury problems, Furcal has played 130+ games just once in the last five years. Primarily a shortstop throughout his career, Furcal has played 36 total games at second base but none since 2004. Moving him off shortstop at his age and following elbow surgery is a wise move, plus the Fish have Adeiny Hechavarria entrenched at short.
Rafael Furcal will try to make his comeback from elbow surgery with the Miami Marlins. The free-agent infielder and the Marlins have agreed to terms on a contract, two people familiar with the situation said Thursday. Both people confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn't been finalized.
Sources: #MARLINS agree with Rafael Furcal on one-year contract, pending physical. Plan is for Furcal to be everyday second baseman.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
Responsible free agent singings Furcal/Salty mean #Marlins address needs w/o trading young pitching.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 6, 2013
Salty and Furcal bring World Series experience and clubhouse leadership to youthful #Marlins— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 6, 2013
Fox's Ken Rosenthal reports Marlins have agreed to terms with Rafael Furcal on one-year deal.Did not play in 2013; had Tommy John surgery.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 6, 2013
AP sources: Furcal agrees to terms with Marlins http://t.co/OXpll6dByB— Marlins Nation (@MarlinsNation) December 6, 2013
The Marlins expect Rafael Furcal to be their every day 2nd baseman? Cool. He's 36 and only played more than 100 games once since 2009.— Will Manso (@WillManso) December 6, 2013
Marlins sign SS Rafael Furcal, who the Mets were interested in— Amazin' Army (@WE_ARE_MET_FANS) December 6, 2013