Cincinnati Reds Radar Should Include Veteran SS Rafael Furcal

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIINovember 2, 2011

Card's Decline Option On Rafael Furcal
Card's Decline Option On Rafael FurcalJamie Squire/Getty Images

Tuesday night the St. Louis Cardinals declined their $12 million option on veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal, making him a free agent.

With the Cincinnati Reds is need of a veteran shortstop, is Furcal on their radar?

Furcal celebrated his 34th birthday on October 24 and started show his age this past season. Injuries have started to take their toll on him. He has only played in 150 games once in the last five seasons.

Making matter worse, in 2010 he played in 97 games and this past season he played in only 87. He also saw his offensive numbers drop dramatically. The chart below demonstrates his noticeable fall from last season:

Category                    2010             2011

Batting Average          .300              .231

On-base-percentage   .366              .298

Slugging Percentage  .460              .348

RBI's                           43                 28

Triples                           7                  0

Stolen Bases               22                  9

I could go on, but I think you get the point, Furcal probably is not going to be the all-star he once was. That said, he might be just what the Reds are looking for while grooming Zack Cozart.