Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that this will be a one-year deal and the veteran will play second base:
Sources: #MARLINS agree with Rafael Furcal on one-year contract, pending physical. Plan is for Furcal to be everyday second baseman.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel provides the financial details:
Source confirms #Marlins have agreed with Rafael Furcal on one-year deal, believed to be about $3.5 million with playing time incentives.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) December 6, 2013
The 2000 National League Rookie of the Year had been one of the more consistent shortstops in baseball for more than a decade. In 13 seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, he posted a .281 batting average with a total of 113 home runs and 314 stolen bases.
Unfortunately, he's been limited by injuries over the past few years and was held to fewer than 100 games in four of the past six seasons. He did not play a single game in 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his elbow:
Moving to second base should allow him to continue his above-average fielding while preventing him from overexerting himself on throws across the field. While he has not played the position since 2004, the transition should not be too difficult.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are able to bring in a veteran player who can help mentor a young locker room. The 36-year-old player has made three All-Star teams and helped the Cardinals win a World Series in 2011. This experience will certainly help turnaround a club that finished with the second-worst record in baseball.
Additionally, Miami finished dead last in the majors in runs scored and batting average, both of which will be helped by a quality hitter like Furcal.
Although there is a great deal of risk involved in signing a player who missed an entire season, this one-year contract could end up being a solid move for both sides going forward.
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