ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 31, 2011 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired shortstop Rafael Furcal from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor league outfielder Alex Castellanos who was playing at Springfield (AA).
“We feel that Furcal will give us added veteran experience when it comes to a pennant race,” said Cardinals’ Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. “Rafael has been an excellent top of the order hitter and he brings plenty of athleticism and defense.”
Furcal, 33, is veteran of 11-plus seasons with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was named to the National League All-Star team last season 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 a member of the Braves.
The switch-hitting Furcal owns a career batting mark of .283 with 101 home runs and 298 stolen bases. He was batting .197 in 37 games this season, but was hitting .364 over the past week with three multi-hit games. He’d missed 63 games this season with a strained left oblique and a fractured left thumb.
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 26 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 last season.
Furcal has been to the postseason eight times in his career (five times with the Braves and three times with the Dodgers). He batted ,500 (6-for-12) for the Dodgers during their 2009 Division Series sweep of the Cardinals.
The deal was the second in less than a year’s time between the two National League clubs, with the Cardinals having acquired infielder Ryan Theriot from the Dodgers last November.
Furcal will wear uniform #15 and Jon Jay will switch to uniform #19.