The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers were in serious negotiations Saturday on a trade that would send shortstop Rafael Furcal and cash to St. Louis, according to a source close to the situation.
The Cardinals have been looking to upgrade at shortstop for some time, and the Dodgers have been listening to offers to move Furcal or Jamey Carroll to give shortstop prospect Dee Gordon an opportunity to play in the final two months of the season.
Because Furcal is a 10-year veteran who has spent more than five years with the Dodgers, he would have to approve the trade.
It appears he has. After the Dodgers' 6-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night Furcal's locker had been cleaned out. A team source said Furcal left the stadium during the fourth inning.
A source in St. Louis said late Saturday the reason for the delay in announcing the deal was the Cardinals had yet to inform the player they are trading to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are expected to eat a significant portion of money still owed to Furcal, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
Furcal told ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas by phone that he is inclined to approve any trade to a contender.
"As of right now, on the way to the stadium, nothing has happened yet," Furcal said. "Neither the Dodgers nor my agent have told me anything about a trade.
"The only thing I know is that several teams are interested and that I must approve any trade. I'm waiting to see if something happens, but if nothing happens, I'll be happy just as well to complete my contract with the Dodgers."
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said before Saturday's game that there are a handful of issues still to be worked out, including Furcal approving the deal. As far as the players coming back, he said, "We've got a pretty good feel for it, but again, we're not done.
"If Furcal is moved, we obviously will bring up Dee Gordon.''
Furcal's departure would mean the Dodgers will keep Carroll for his leadership and versatility, and make Gordon the every-day shortstop. The 33-year-old Furcal, who has battled injuries much of the last two years, would get an opportunity to take over at short for the Cardinals, who would likely use their current shortstop, Ryan Theriot, as a utility man if Furcal can stay healthy.
Colletti said that Furcal has had a great impact on the club over the last six years.
"He was really the first free agent we went after," he said. "We signed him at the winter meetings in '05, and we needed somebody who could lead off and play in the middle of the diamond and play with energy, and he always did.
"He had some rough spots with injuries from time to time, but when he is at the top of his game and healthy ... that was when the offense moved. He had quite an impact on this club, and he will always be a special guy for us."
Jayson Stark is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson was used in this report.