Sunday, July 31, 2011


The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired former All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a minor league outfielder.

It's not known whether or not Furcal will be in uniform tonight when the Cardinals close out their three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.
Furcal, who had to approve the deal, has been slowed by injuries this season, hitting just .197 with a .272 on-base-percentage in 37 games. However, over his past nine games Furcal is hitting .303 and has driven in five runs.

"We feel that Furcal will give us added veteran experience when it comes to a pennant race," said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. "Rafael has been an excellent top of the order hitter and he brings plenty of athleticism and defense."

For his career, the two-time All-Star is a .283 hitter with a .349 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage in 1,434 games for the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, with whom he broke into the league in 2000.

Last season he hit .300 with 22 stolen bases in 97 games for the Dodgers. His .370 on-base-percentage was also the majors' best among leadoff hitters

Furcal, 33, is in the final year of a three-year deal that contains a club option for 2012 worth $12 million.

Los Angeles receives 24-year-old Alex Castellanos, a 10th round pick of the Cardinals in the 2008 draft. He had belted 19 home runs and was hitting .319 in 93 games for Double-A Springfield this season.

The Furcal acquisition caps a busy week for St. Louis, which completed an eight-player deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. In that trade, the Cards acquired starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, and outfielder Corey Patterson, while dealing away outfielder Colby Rasmus and three relievers.