Rafael Furcal of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting a single in the second inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Rafael Furcal has agreed to a two-year, $14 million contract to remain with the St. Louis Cardinals. The deal is pending a physical and is expected to be completed early next week, his agent Paul Kinze confirmed to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Furcal arrived to the Cardinals from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline last July, quickly supplanting Ryan Theriot as the starting shortstop. After hitting just .197 (.272 OBP, .248 SLG) over 152 at-bats before the trade, Furcal hit .255 (.316 OBP, .418 SLG) in 217 at-bats after being acquired. Unfortunately, his resurgence ended in the playoffs, as Grant Brisbee noted last month:
[Furcal] got progressively got worse and worse as the playoffs went on, going from .227/.227/.409 in the NLDS, to .185/.214/.370 in the NCLS, to .179/.281/.214 in the World Series.
That slump was enough to convince the Cardinals not to exercise Furcal's 2012 option worth $12 million. Several weeks later at just over half the price, though, St. Louis decided he was worth the risk. The decision could pay off: Furcal is only one year removed from hitting .300 (.366 OBP, .460 SLG) in 428 at-bats in 2010. The key, of course, is staying healthy. He missed a lot of time in 2010 with a back injury before suffering a broken thumb in 2011.
For more on Furcal's return, visit Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos.