On this date in 2008, the Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed shortstop Rafael Furcal to a three-year, $30 million deal. He was signed after his first three-year deal with the Dodgers ended.
Furcal signed a three-year, $39 million deal in 2005 and was coming off a season in which he hit .357 in limited time. He suffered a back injury early in 2008 and missed most of the season, returning just before the Dodgers’ 2008 playoff run. In 36 games that season, he hit .357, scored 34 runs and stole eight bases. He struggled in the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies, hitting just .211 in five games. He also had three errors in one inning to set an NLCS record for errors in an inning and game.
The then 31-year-old returned to the Dodgers as their shortstop on another three-year deal. In his first three years, Furcal hit .293 with 404 hits and 70 stolen bases in 333 games, while scoring 234 runs and 67 doubles. He struggled in the first year of his new deal, hitting just .269 with 12 stolen bases in 150 games. Furcal managed to score 92 runs for the NL West champion Dodgers but wasn’t the player the Dodgers envisioned when they re-signed him.
In 2010, Furcal appeared in only 97 games due to injuries but played well enough to be named an All-Star. He finished the year hitting .300 with 22 stolen bases in 383 at-bats. The switch-hitter added 23 doubles, eight home runs and drove in 43 runs. The next season, Furcal again was limited because of injuries and appeared in just 37 games for the Dodgers before he was traded. The team traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline in exchange for minor-leaguer Alex Castellanos.
Furcal finished the year with the Cardinals, playing in 50 games and hitting .255 with 29 runs scored. He won his first World Series championship after the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in seven games. Furcal played in 2012 with the Cardinals but ended his season early with another injury. He missed all of the 2013 season and recently signed with the Miami Marlins.
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