Rafael Furcal is now a St. Louis Cardinal.

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired shortstop Rafael Furcal from the Los Angeles for a minor league prospect, fortifying their infield.

St. Louis sent outfielder Alex Castellanos, who was playing at Double-A Springfield, to the Dodgers.

The 33-year-old Furcal, a two-time All-Star, is batting just .197 in 37 games while struggling with injuries this season. But the Cardinals noted he had three multihit games the last week.

Furcal was held out of the lineup Saturday and cleaned out his locker, although the team made no announcement then.

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Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot had been in a 2-for-38 slump earlier in the week before getting four hits on Saturday, starting at second base against the Cubs. The Cardinals also got Theriot from the Dodgers, acquiring him last winter.

General manager John Mozeliak said Furcal would add veteran experience for the NL Central race. The Cardinals were 1½ games behind the Brewers. Furcal has a career batting average of .283 with 298 stolen bases and has been considered one of the best leadoff hitters in the game.

Three of Furcal's last four seasons have been injury-shortened and he mentioned retirement when sidelined by a fractured left thumb this April and also has missed time with a strained left side. He played in 150 games in 2009, but in '08, '10 and'11 he has played a total of 170 games.

Furcal has 26 career leadoff homers and is second on the Dodgers' career list with 14. He's been to the postseason eight times, five with the Braves and three with the Dodgers, and hit .500 (6 for 12) in Los Angeles' three-game Division series sweep of the Cardinals in 2009.

"Rafael has been an excellent top of the order hitter and he brings plenty of athleticism and defense," Mozeliak said.

Castellanos, who turns 25 next week, was St. Louis' 10th-round draft pick in 2008 and was batting .319 with 19 homers, 62 RBIs and 10 steals in 93 games.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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