Rafael Furcal, a rifle-armed shortstop who filed for free agency yesterday, would be willing to play second base in Flushing, his agent, Paul Kinze, said yesterday. The Atlanta-based Kinzer said Furcal’s preference is to remain a shortstop, but said about the Mets: “I think they’ll be a player. … He would be willing to explore it.”
The Mets are expected to pursue Furcal and other second-base options, despite Kaz Matsui having one year and $8 million remaining on his contract and rookie Anderson Hernandez going 11-for-24 with seven RBI so far in winter ball.
Unlike Matsui, a natural shortstop who joined the Mets with little experience elsewhere in the infield, Furcal is comfortable at second base. Kinzer estimated Furcal has played the position at least five years in winter ball in order to allow mentor Neifi Perez – another free agent this winter – to play shortstop with the Dominican club Escogido.