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Cardinals may be nearing deal for Furcal

As they try to get back on the horse after failing to sign franchise cornerstone Albert Pujols to a contract extension, members of the St. Louis Cardinals front office are hoping to soon declare victory in re-signing another key piece of the 2011 World Series championship team.

The club is apparently nearing a deal to bring Rafael Furcal back in the mix for 2012. Terms haven't been revealed. But Furcal was reportedly asking for a three-year contract earlier in the off-season. I hope the Cardinals are willing to commit that kind a length to a guy who is showin signs of serious decline. It would make a lot of sense for both sides to sign Furcal to a shorter deal so he can prove the injuries that have slowed him for the last couple of seasons -- and his lower batting average -- are a thing of the past.

Furcal would be a big helper to the Cardinals because, first, the team needs a lead-off man. And, second, the Cardinals need to boost the middle infield defense because they're apparently going to have to lean more on stopping the other team from scoring runs than in putting up big numbers in the near future.