The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of eight teams checking in on free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The 36-year-old Furcal missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. He most recently played for the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he won a World Series ring in 2011. In 2012, he batted .264/.325/.346 with five home runs and 12 stolen bases in 531 plate appearances. The fact that there are eight teams interested in his services despite his age and injury history shows just how weak the shortstop position is around the majors right now.
Clint Barmes served as Pittsburgh's primary shortstop in 2013, but he is a free agent this winter. Jordy Mercer also got a substantial amount of playing time at short, but there is no word yet regarding whether or not the team views him as the starter for 2014.