Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are very interested in retaining Rafael Furcal after the season ends.
Furcal, a free agent-to-be, hasn’t hit for average since coming over from the Dodgers, but he has played slick defense and has flashed nice power in his short time in St. Louis. Given how poor the non-Pujols portions of the Cardinals infield has been this season, he would represent a considerable upgrade if brought back and if he’s healthy in 2012. Of course Furcal being healthy is not the sort of thing one bets the farm on.
And it’s also worth noting that Furcal isn’t exactly the Cardinals’ number one free agent priority coming up after the season ends. They have a first baseman who’s pretty good and has probably earned himself a contract of some sort.
The Pittsburgh Pirates just announced that they have released catcher Francisco Cervelli. No waivers, no DFA. Just his unconditional release.
Cervelli had been on a rehab assignment in the minors in his efforts to come back from a concussion. He had been sidelined since May, and there had been no timeline for his return, but he played in a minor league game as recently as Monday.
Over the summer, however, Cervelli voiced doubts about his ability to continue catching in light of the six concussions he’s weathered over the last decade. At one point he said he could not catch again but then walked it back. Whether his release was requested and whether Cervelli plans to end his big league career is not yet known.
I’m sure we’ll hear more about this soon.
UPDATE: Um, OK. Based on this I guess it’s more of a matter of the Pirates simply not wanting him anymore: