Rafael Furcal is recovering from a torn hamstring that plagued him while playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, but he is receiving another chance to make a major league roster. According to Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star, the Royals signed Furcal to a minor league deal.
Furcal, 37, has not been invited to major league camp, though, because he is still trying to get healthy. He gives Kansas City infield depth, however the All-Star shortstop has only played in nine major league games since 2012. He missed all of 2013 after having Tommy John surgery, and was signed by the Marlins last offseason. Furcal posted a pair of RBIs in 37 at-bats before being shutdown for the season following a hamstring injury.
Although Furcal, if healthy, could serve as the Royals' utility infielder, the club is not necessarily in need of another shortstop. Alcides Escobar appeared in every game last season for Kansas City, and the organization is confident Omar Infante will be healthy and consistent in 2015 despite elbow problems in the past.
Christian Colon, Ryan Jackson, and Ryan Roberts are all also competing for the reserve infielder spot on the roster. While Furcal thrived offensively early in his career, he was also feared defensively with both the Braves and Dodgers. Furcal's inability to remain healthy has plagued him, and he is a career .281/.346/.402 hitter to complement 113 home runs and 314 total stolen bases.
Despite the fact that Furcal has struggled to remain healthy, he has proven he can be a notable offensive threat at the major league level. He posted a .264/.325/.346 batting line with the Cardinals in 2012, which was his last full season in the majors. Furcal was also named the National League Rookie of The Year in 2000 after a fast start to his career with the Atlanta Braves.