MLB

Furcal, Schumaker to return to Cards

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal (15) slides into second base
Rafael Furcal batted .255 last season after joining the Cards in a deal with the Dodgers.
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ST. LOUIS (AP)

The World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals bolstered their infield with two moves Monday.

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The Cardinals and shortstop Rafael Furcal agreed to a $14 million, two-year contract, keeping the switch-hitter with the team after it picked him up at the July trade deadline. Later Monday, St. Louis announced it had agreed to terms with infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker on a two-year contract. Terms were not announced.

The Furcal deal is pending a physical. A team spokesman said Monday night that the Cardinals hope to finalize the shortstop's contract this week.

Furcal would get a signing bonus of $1 million with salaries of $6 million next year and $7 million in 2013.

The Cardinals had considered giving perennial prospect Tyler Greene a shot at regular duty, especially if they would have re-signed first baseman Albert Pujols. The 34-year-old Furcal gives St. Louis a leadoff option plus one of the strongest arms at his position.

Furcal had career lows with a .231 batting average and .298 on-base percentage in an injury-interrupted 2011, playing only 87 games. He had eight homers and 28 RBIs. He batted .255 with a .316 on-base percentage after joining the Cardinals in a deal with the Dodgers.

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Furcal struggled at the plate in the postseason, too, batting .195. In Game 7 of the World Series, he was dropped to seventh in the order.

The 28-year-old Greene, a former first-round pick, has totaled 150 games the last three seasons with St. Louis with a .218 average and .312 on-base percentage. Greene had been in line to get an extended audition last September before the Cardinals began gaining ground on the Braves, and instead got only two at-bats the final month.

The 31-year-old Schumaker, a career .290 hitter, batted .283 last season. The left-handed hitter batted .381 in 11 postseason games and drove in the game-winning run in the 1-0 win over the Phillies in the decisive Game 5 of the NL Division Series.

The Cardinals also announced Monday they did not tender a contract offer to infielder Ryan Theriot, who was the starting shortstop until St. Louis acquired Furcal. Theriot becomes a free agent.

Tagged: Cardinals, Rafael Furcal, Tyler Greene

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