MLB Trades 2011: Cardinals Gain Nothing by Bringing in Washed Up Rafael Furcal
The St. Louis Cardinals brought in Rafael Furcal just before the trade deadline hit, and nobody seemed to care. Furcal, who has been bogged down by injuries, is nothing more than a big name at this point.
He routinely hovered around batting .300 throughout his career. This season, he's failed to crack the Mendoza line. Furcal limps into the Cardinals' lineup beaten, broken and on the brink of retirement.
The Dodgers picked up part of his contract, but it's not enough to consider the Cardinals a winner in this transaction whatsoever. The Cardinals dealt the Dodgers Double-A prospect Alex Castellanos, a minor leaguer with a heavy bat.
While a few years ago this transaction would have seemed unthinkable, Furcal isn't the same player he once was. His game is unrecognizable and his injuries even prompted him to contemplate retirement a few short months ago.
The Cardinals undoubtedly brought him in for his intangibles and accolades in the past. Furcal has been considered one of the best leadoff guys in the game. He's been around for a long time and performed at an incredibly high level.
Even so, his best days are clearly behind him. His recurring injuries have made him unusable for huge stretches of time of the course of the last three seasons.
This is by far the worst season of his career, which is why the Dodgers were obviously so willing to part ways with him.
It's difficult to find a marquee shortstop like Furcal, but if the Cardinals were hoping Furcal's presence would help them take hold of the NL Central, they are in for a rude awakening. All he does is insert a lackluster bat into the lineup, assuming he remains healthy enough to take the field.
Furcal has been superb over the years, but this move should be seen as a non-factor for the Cardinals, if not a step backwards.
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