In a loaded free agent class, Rafael Furcal may become the first big name to change zip codes. According to several different sources, the shortstop has received interest from up to 10 different teams, but lately two have emerged as the top contenders.
The Oakland As, desperate to shore up their anemic offense, have already added Matt Holliday via trade and now have reported offered Furcal a four-year contract worth $48 million. He would take over a position Bobby Crosby's been fumbling away for years because of injury and ineffectiveness.
All the way across the country, the New York Mets would also like to acquire Furcal's services. Yes, they do already have Jose Reyes, and no, they don't want to part ways with their young star. Signing with New York would come with the chore of moving to second base for Furcal. You wouldn't think a guy of his pedigree would love the idea of switching positions, but he sounds okay with it.
"The offers from the A's and Mets are tempting, but I need to meet with my agent first," Furcal told the Dominican newspaper, "because there are several factors that we have to evaluate, and the decision needs to be well thought out."
Of course, one of the "factors" he'll consider will most certainly be moving positions. On the flip-side, staying in the NL and playing for a team with a much better chance to contend might outweigh the negative of switching sides of the infield.
With a four year deal on the table, the Dodgers are likely no longer interested.
Oakland or New York? The ball's in your court, Mr. Furcal.