Mujica, Furcal find new homes
When free agency opened a month ago, five members of the 2013 Cardinals immediately began looking for new homes. Chris Carpenter determined that he was actually ready to stay home and announced his retirement. Carlos Beltran remains one of the most coveted free agents available. Jake Westbrook continues to seek employment, too.
The other two — Rafael Furcal and Edward Mujica — landed in new spots this week. Though neither deal has been officially announced, MLB.com learned Thursday that Furcal has agreed to a one-year deal with the Marlins and Mujica has signed for two years with Boston. Mujica’s deal is reportedly worth $9.5 million, while Furcal’s is reported to be $3.5 million plus incentives.
The Cardinals never made a serious attempt to re-sign either player.
Mujica joins a team that he actually never pitched against in the World Series. Though he was on each of the Cardinals’ postseason rosters, he was used sparingly in October. By that time, he had lost his grip on the closer’s role. Still, Mujica’s new contract (the first multi-year deal of his career) is a reward for the job he did as a closer last season. He stepped in when the Cardinals needed to oust Mitchell Boggs, and Mujica went on to save 37 games in 41 opportunities. It wasn’t until he tired and dealt with some injury issues in August/September that his success waned.
Furcal did not play in 2013 after his attempts to rehab his elbow sans surgery failed. He lasted only a few days in Spring Training before ultimately having to undergo the Tommy John procedure. Before the end of the season, Furcal said he planned to play winter ball this offseason to prove to teams that his surgically-repaired elbow would be fine. The 36-year-old has appeared in 100 games in a season only once since 2009. The Marlins have signed him to play second base.
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