Dodgers trade for Royals' Berroa to fill in at shortstop

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers, short-handed because of shortstop Rafael Furcal's back injury, obtained shortstop Angel Berroa from the Kansas City Royals on Friday night for minor league infielder Juan Rivera.

The deal was made exactly a year to the day that Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of the year, was designated for assignment by the Royals when they recalled outfielder Joey Gathright from the minors. The Dodgers assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas, but he could be recalled this weekend.

Berroa, 30, was hitting .291 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs for Triple-A Omaha. He has a .263 career batting average in the majors. Rivera, 21, was hitting .241 in 10 games for Class-A Great Lakes.

Berroa had one of the best rookie seasons in Royals' history in 2003. He hit .287 with 17 homers and 73 RBIs and edged out outfielder Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees by four votes to win the rookie award.

Berroa got off to a slow start the next year and was sent back to the minors for 11 games. Overall in 134 games with Kansas City in 2004, he hit .262, though his power numbers dropped to eight homers and 43 RBIs.

Furcal was batting .366 in 32 games when he was placed on the disabled list May 6. Rookie Chin-lung Hu has been the regular shortstop since then, but he entered Friday hitting .172, and the Dodgers were 7-13 when he has started at short.

The Royals also sent switch-hitting catcher Brayan Pena outright to Triple-A Omaha. Pena was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves on May 30.