Shortstop Rafael Furcal has made a strong impression on his new team. Furcal says the feeling is mutual.



Stopping short of offering his hopes for next season, Furcal made clear that he is open to hearing what the Cardinals may have to say about making him part of their 2012 team, or possibly beyond.



"I love the city," Furcal said. "I'd want to play for St. Louis."



The Cardinals increasingly appear in a pre-emptive stance before re-entering talks with pending free agent first baseman Albert Pujols. The club must make decisions on Chris Carpenter's $15 million option for 2012, pending free agent right fielder Lance Berkman and arbitration-eligible second baseman Skip Schumaker.



General manager John Mozeliak indicated last month the club intends to assume Adam Wainwright's two-year, $21 million option, and the club is also expected to pick up catcher Yadier Molina's option for next season.



Furcal, on the final installment of a three-year, $27 million contract, represents a potential short-term answer at a position that has bedeviled the club in recent years.