Rumors circulated all of yesterday, Rafael Furcal was set to be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Finally word became official this morning as the Cardinals announced that the 33 year old switch-hitting short stop was now a member of their team.
Furcal is in his 12th major league season, but 3 of his last 4 seasons have been shortened due to injury. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and made his debut for them in 2000, winning the NL Rookie of the Year. He spent six seasons in Atlanta before signing with the Dodgers in free agency before the 2006 season.
His season numbers are overwhelming, to say the least. He is hitting .197 with just a .272 OBP. Just what are we getting? Over his last nine games for the Dodgers he is hitting .303 with a .425 OBP.
If he’s healthy and we get more of the last nine games Rafael Furcal, the addition is a great one for the Cardinals that really solidifies the top of the lineup.
If he’s still dealing with a nagging injury or continues to struggle, he’ll provide some additional defense, but LaRussa’s insistency of putting Furcal in the lineup could sink the ship. Mainly, I’m just glad the Cardinals took a chance on acquiring someone who was actually an upgrade over what we already have on the roster. Many of the names floated around on the trade market this season, were not improvements over what the Cardinals already had. Furcal was probably #2 on my wish list to Clint Barmes.
In return, the Cardinals are sending AA outfielder Alex Castellanos to the Dodgers. The 24 year old Castellanos is experiencing a breakout season in Springfield this year, hitting .319 with 19 HR and 62 RBI. He is also part of an overstock of outfielders near the top of the St. Louis system. Jerry described Castellanos this morning as a complementary player if he makes the major leagues, not a core player.
Furcal will continue to wear the #15 in St. Louis. Jon Jay will begin wearing the #19, that was previously assigned to Matt Carpenter. To make room for him on the 40 man roster, the Cardinals will move Eduardo Sanchez from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL. That makes Sanchez eligible to come off the 60 day DL on August 15th, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to pitch again this season. To make room for him on the 25 man roster, Tyler Greene will be headed back to Memphis just three days after being called up.