Mets officials did not disguise their disappointment in Ruben Tejada this season. As the young shortstop, now 24, trudged through an injury-plagued nightmare season, general manager Sandy Alderson publicly questioned his work ethic and declared he was not part of the team’s future “core.” Manager Terry Collins also hinted at Tejada’s disappointing effort throughout the campaign.

Consequently, the Mets are looking for an upgrade this offseason. The top replacement options are Stephen Drew and Jhonny Peralta, both of whom figure to garner pricey multi-year deals.

But they are not the only possibilities and the Mets could consider a cheaper option. One is Rafael Furcal and the Mets have contacted the veteran Furcal, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person requested anonymity to speak freely on the matter.

Furcal missed the entire 2013 season with the Cardinals after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March, but took part in fielding drills before Cardinals postseason games without noticeable hinderance.

The Dominican turned 36 years old last month, which makes him a short-term option for a ballclub. But Furcal represents an upgrade at shortstop for the Mets, who had their shortstops post a .561 OPS in 2013, and he can double as a leadoff hitter, which the Mets could also use.