NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's no secret that the Mets are badly in need of a shortstop.
Ruben Tejada, who had an injury-plagued 2013, has taken a significant step back. And Omar Quintanilla and Justin Turner are certainly not the answers.
Wilfredo Tovar has played just seven major-league games and there don't appear to be too many attractive options on the farm.
As far as free agents go, Stephen Drew and Jhonny Peralta are the cream of the shortstop crop, but they will be in heavy demand and will likely command top dollar.
A cheaper option, albeit not as enticing, is 36-year-old Rafael Furcal. According to The Star-Ledger, the Mets have reached out to the three-time All-Star.
Mike Puma of the New York Post has reported that the Amazin's are among five or six teams who have shown interest in the veteran.
Furcal, well past his prime, missed all of last season after undergoing ligament replacement surgery in March.
In 2012 he batted .264 with five homers and 49 RBIs in 121 games. He stole 12 bases and drew 44 walks, posting a .325 on-base percentage.
Despite not playing in 2013, Furcal would be an instant upgrade over New York's current shortstop corps. Prior to his surgery he was a dynamic leadoff hitter and was stellar with the glove.
His best season came in 2006, when he batted .300 with 37 stolen bases and posted an .814 OPS.
Tejada, who figures to be the Opening Day starter if the Mets don't sign or trade for any shortstops, batted .202 with no homers, 10 RBIs and a .259 on-base percentage in 57 games. He also played shoddy defense, committing eight errors.
Other free-agent shortstops on the market include Clint Barmes, Ronny Cedeno, Cesar Izturis, Munenori Kawasaki, John McDonald, Nick Punto and Brendan Ryan.
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