Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Rafael Furcal was signed by the Miami Marlins to a one-year deal on Thursday. The Marlins want Furcal, 36, to be their everyday second baseman. Not only could Furcal play at second, but he could also be used at shortstop and minimally at third base. For now, Furcal will move in as the second baseman in a signing that could be risky for the Marlins.
It is unusual for Miami to throw money at a player coming off an injury, but as we saw last season, the Marlins are not afraid to give minimal contracts to proven players. Furcal has proven himself to be as solid as ever in the past. He batted .264/.325/.346 with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2012. He played in 121 games that year, the most since 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What is concerning is that it seems as though the Marlins have given up on Donovan Solano and possibly Derek Dietrich. It could have been a fight to the death over the second base job in spring training, but the front office made a shrewd move to end the fight before it began — that is if Furcal stays healthy.
If Miami can somehow get him to bat higher than .270 and drive in at least 50 runs this season, it would be a great signing. Those hopes are high, but it seems fair to think like that. Solano and Dietrich will have to fight for a roster spot in 2014. Luckily, Dietrich still has minor league options to play with.