Cardinals Add Shortstop Furcal from Dodgers

The St. Louis Cardinals look to upgrade their defense up the middle with shortstop Rafael Furcal and send outfielder Alex Castellanos to LA.

Multiple national sources have confirmed the St. Louis Cardinals have acquired shortstop Rafael Furcal from the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a player with ten years of experience, the last five with one team, Furcal enjoyed no-trade rights. He reportedly agreed to accept the trade on Saturday night.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a minor league outfielder not on the Cardinals' 40-man roster will be joining the Dodgers in return with cash coming along with Furcal to help cover the remaining roughly $4 million on his $12 million salary. Furcal's contract includes a $12 million club option for 2012, so this deal should be considered a two-month rental.

The two-time all-star is expected to improve the Cardinals defense at short, where Ryan Theriot has 16 errors and lacks range. Theriot is expected to move to second base with Furcal becoming the regular shortstop.

Due to injury, Furcal has played in just 37 games in 2011. The switch-hitter is batting just .197 this season. The 33-year-old has a line of .283/.349/.407 and 298 stolen bases in 12 years as a major leaguer with Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Updates: At 11 A.M. CT on Sunday, the Cardinals officially announced the trade. Furcal will wear uniform #15 and Jon Jay will switch to uniform #19.

Mid-Sunday morning, SIs Jon Heyman Tweeted that the Cardinals have agreed to pay $1.4 million of Furcal's remaining salary.

The player traded to the Dodgers is Springfield outfielder and Texas League All-Star Alex Castellanos.

The 24-year-old right-handed hitter was the Cardinals' 10th-round draft pick in 2008. Castellanos set a new Palm Beach record with 35 doubles last season and his seven triples led the Cardinals system. Though he received votes, he did not crack The Cardinal Nation Top 40 Prospect List during the off-season.

In 2011, Castellanos was The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for April and has twice been named the Texas League Player of the Week. He has a .319 average, 19 home runs and 62 RBI in 93 games. Castellanos has been especially hot recently, batting .419 with ten RBI in his last ten games.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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