Rafael Furcal, a three-time All-Star shortstop who has played in nine big-league games since 2012, has signed a minor-league contract with the Royals. He has not been invited to big-league camp. He is rehabilitating in minor-league camp.
Furcal, 37, missed all of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He signed with the Miami Marlins for the following season, but disappeared after suffering a severe hamstring injury. He tore the muscle this winter and sat out the Dominican League playoffs.
The Royals do not necessarily require another shortstop. Alcides Escobar played all 162 games last season. The club continues to insist Omar Infante’s elbow woes will not sideline him during the season. Christian Colon has clapped the cover off the baseball here in the Cactus League.
Furcal hit .264 with a .671 on-base plus slugging percentage with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, his last full season in the majors. He won the National League rookie of the year award in 2000 as a member of the Atlanta Braves.