All about the Braves and baseball events.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Furcal Stays With LA, Situation Angers Wren

Rafael Furcal must have had Should I Stay Or Should I Go? by the Clash stuck in his head the past few days. He has decided to stay.

According to the AP, Furcal agreed with the Dodgers on a three-year, $30 million contract Wednesday night. The deal is worth $6.5 million next season, $8.5 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011. There is also a vesting option for 2012 and a $3 million buyout. The option will be picked up automatically if Furcal meets certain requirements.

On Tuesday, it was believed (and reported) that the Braves had reached an agreement with Furcal for a three year contract worth $30 million in total. However, Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, disputed that claim on Wednesday:

"They know we didn't have a signed contract, that we didn't have even a verbal agreement. We had, 'Things look very good and Raffy's going to sleep on it,'"
Frank Wren, Atlanta's general manager, told AJC Braves beat writer David O'Brien that there was a gentleman's agreement in place with Kinzer:

“I think you have to be upset with the turn of events,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “We usually don’t do business this way. You don’t expect people you have to deal with to do business that way.”

Wren said he and Kinzer negotiated all contract details Monday night and the Braves sent a term sheet to the agent’s office for Furcal to sign Tuesday morning. Term sheets are the final step, after an agreement is reached.

Wren said the term sheet was never returned.

“We were very surprised,” he said. “After reaching an agreement on Monday night, and being asked to produce a term sheet for signature on Tuesday morning, which we did, we were surprised that they didn’t return the term sheet. … All of a sudden, they said they needed to go back to the Dodgers.”

That's exactly what Furcal did.

There is plenty of blame to go around in regards to this situation. Wren should have known better than to trust Kinzer like that in this situation. At the same time, Kinzer's actions were very dishonest and self-serving.

Now that this situation is over, my guess is that Wren is just going to sign a few "mediocre" free agents like Jon Garland or Randy Wolf. He may make a run for Ben Sheets, Pat Burrell or Adam Dunn since his original plans have been shot down.

EDIT: I updated the salary info, which is now reflected in the article.

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