Cards sign shortstop Rafael Furcal thru 2013
ST. LOUIS, Mo., December 14, 2011 - The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to terms with free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal on a two-year deal for 2012 and 2013. Furcal was acquired by the Cardinals on July 31 in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and helped key the Cardinals 2011 World Championship run.
"Rafael proved to be a great addition for us last season," said Cardinals' Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. "His leadership and experience was very evident during the pennant race and into the postseason,"
After joining the Cardinals at the trade deadline last season, Furcal turned an N.L.-high 36 double plays among shortstops and he was ranked 2nd in both total chances (238) and assists (155). He batted .255 with 7 HR's and 16 RBI for the Cardinals, hitting safely in 38 of his 50 games.
The switch-hitting Furcal owns a career batting mark of .282 with 108 home runs and 302 stolen bases.
Furcal, 34, is a veteran of 12-plus seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cardinals. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2010 when he batted .300 for the 3rd time in five seasons with the Dodgers. The Dominican native was also named an N.L. All-Star in 2003 as member of the Braves.
Furcal has been considered to be one of the games' top leadoff batters since breaking in with Atlanta in 2000 as the National League's Rookie of the Year. He has hit 29 career leadoff homers and ranks 2nd among the Dodgers' all-time leaders in leadoff homers with 14. Furcal owned the majors' best on-base pct. (.370) among leadoff hitters in 2010.
Furcal has been to the postseason nine times in his career (five times with the Braves, three times with the Dodgers and once with St. Louis).