The Kansas City Royals have reached an agreement with veteran infielder Rafael Furcal on a minor-league deal, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. McCullough notes that he will report to the club’s minor-league camp, instead of big league camp, in order to rehab from his torn hamstring.
With the expectation of playing second base, the Miami Marlins signed the 37-year-old infielder to a one-year deal before the 2014 season. However, hamstring injuries plagued Furcal, only allowing him to play in nine games for the team’s big league club. In 37 plate appearances for the Marlins last season, he hit .171/.216/.229 (6-for-35) with no home runs and four runs batted in, as well as four runs scored. While trying to make a comeback this offseason, he tore his hamstring again, costing him the rest of the Dominican Winter League playoffs.
Furcal hasn’t just been plagued by hamstring injuries over the last couple years. He had to miss all of the 2013 season while he was with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was required to undergo Tommy John surgery. In his last full season back in 2012 for the Cardinals, he slashed .264/.325/.346 with five home runs and 49 runs batted in over 531 plate appearances in 121 games played.
Over his fourteen-year major-league career, Furcal has played for the Atlanta Braves (2000-05), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-11), St. Louis Cardinals (2011-12) and the Miami Marlins (2014). In 7237 career plate appearances, Furcal has managed a slash line of .281/.346/.402, while slugging 113 home runs and driving home 587 runs, over 1614 games played.