Minnesota Twins Want Veteran Switch-Hitter: How About LA Dodgers' Rafael Furcal?

Nam HuynhContributor IJuly 24, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 3:  Rafael Furcal #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes contact with the ball against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 3, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Los Angeles 2-1.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Minnesota Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said last week that Minnesota is interested in acquiring "maybe a middle guy and some guys to help bridge the gap and come in in that sixth, seventh inning" before the July 31 trade deadline.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that the Twins could also pursue a veteran bat off the bench—maybe a switch-hitter—as well as the bullpen help, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

When Gardenhire said veteran switch-hitter, don't expect a Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran. One player that intrigues me is Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Furcal, 33, is earning $12 million in the final year of the three-year, $30 million contract he signed with the Dodgers in 2009. His contract includes a club option in 2012 for $12 million.

Yes, he is coming off another DL stint in an injury-plagued season, but is reportedly healthy again. Struggling offensively (.182/.250/.473) in limited time (33 games), he's bound to hit closer to his career .283 batting average if given more at-bats.

Furcal could be the player the Twins need for their playoff push, as he is a veteran switch-hitter with some power, and could potentially start at shortstop if Tsuyoshi Nishioka continues to struggle.

Los Angeles would likely need to eat some of his salary to make the trade work.