Are the Mets Bidding for Rafael Furcal?

Earlier today the venerable MetsBlog shared a report from the Dominican newspaper El Caribe that said Rafael Furcal, last seen playing shortstop for the Dodgers, had received an offer from the Mets to play second base. Furcal told the paper that the offer was "tempting," but that he was also weighing a four-year, $48 million offer from the Oakland A's.

You can only believe so much of what you read during the offseason, but when a player himself is getting quoted you tend to believe it more than an unnamed insider. Thing is, Furcal's agent said that the numbers were wrong on the A's deal and that the Mets haven't made any offer whatsoever. He could have been trying to drive up the price from another team, although it seems unlikely that his agent would then move so quickly to deny it. Perhaps something got lost in the translation, although one assumes that both Furcal and his interviewer were speaking Spanish.

Met interest in Furcal is admittedly a bit of a stretch. He's never played second, has been hurt a lot the last two years and will have chances to stay at shortstop on other teams. They've also got to find some saps to take Luis Castillo and the remaining $18 million he's owed off their hands, which will be far more difficult than trying to suss out the wildly divergent stories coming out of the Furcal camp.

Until Castillo is off the team, no other second baseman is going to be brought into the fold. It's also hard to see the Mets moving on the lineup until they've secured a few upgrades to the pitching staff.

It wouldn't hurt if Orlando Hudson thought the Mets had interest in Furcal, however. The best free agent second baseman, Hudson has been linked to the Amazins more than once and his price won't go up with word that the team has other options. Hudson doesn't have Furcal's track record and spent a lot of time on the disabled list in 2008 as well. He dislocated his wrist, far less worrisome than Furcal's back surgery, and will come cheaper than Furcal, even without the Met interest.

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