Thursday, December 18, 2008

Furcal vs. Renteria, did we really lose?

By now you may have heard, Rafeal Furcal is headed back to LA. What a saga he has turned out to be. I've waited as long as I have to comment on this in an effort to try to gain more facts on the case. I can wait no longer!

To make a long story short, Furcal signed with the Dodgers after spurning the Braves...No, I must go into it more...Furcal, spurned the A's to go with the Braves...No...Furcal spurned the Giants to Go with the A's...No...I'm getting dizzy thinking about this, lets start from the beginning.

Rafeal Furcal received no FA type status this winter, making him much more attractable when he OPTED out of his contract with the Dodgers, eve though he has a bad back and only played in 36 games in 2008. Immediately many teams were interested, mostly the Giants, A's, and the Cubs and Braves considered long shots since they would have to clear payroll. The Giants went in hot and heavy for Furcal, who reportedly was seeking a 4/$48 mil and offered as much as 3/$39 mil possibly with an option. Apparently, at the same time, the A's wined and dined him to the point that Brian Sabean felt confident he wasn't going to take the Giants offer so Sabean pulled it from the table(turned out to be a great move but we'll get to that) and nabbed Renteria for 2/$18.5 mil (widely criticized as overpaying but did they?). The A's, believed to be the front runner, were forced to wait to see if the winter meetings produced a higher bidder while other chips fell, thought their 3/$30 with an option was good. The Braves never cleared payroll or opened up a position, neither did the Cubs. The Dodgers reentered the discussion but were still outsiders. But that mystery team was there. Furcal's agent said a 4th year would get it done so reportedly, the A's offered one at around 4/$35-40, then more. Still, no deal. Other teams came and went and then all in the same day, Ken Rosenthal reported the A's as the front runners and then Furcals agent said he really didn't want to play of Oakland. Now the focus shifted to the Braves where Furcal reportedly wanted to play. So the Braves offered him more and more, until they came to a deal. But that mystery team was still there(Dodgers). Furcals agent, Paul Kinzer, and Rafeal Furcal himself, agreed to a deal with the Braves over the phone, a "gentleman's agreement" and KINZER ASKED Braves GM Frank Wren to fax over a term sheet (the last step in finalizing a deal). Then Kinzer did the unthinkable, and took that offer (3/$30 with an option) to the Dodgers and GM Ned Colletti as a bargaining chip. Colletti then matched that offer and thought he had a deal. Kinzer then took that offer back to Frank Wren and tried to use it as a bargaining chip against the Braves. Wren was outraged (as he should be) because they already had a deal, or so he thought, and told Kinzer he won't be playing this game. It was either the deal they agreed to or no deal. So here we are, Rafeal Furcal is a Dodger again!

What a mess! What a problem! Neither have much character, Furcal nor Kinzer! And to think, the Giants were in on him pretty heavy early on. What may have been? It's nice to see Brian Sabean has learned a thing or two since being used by both Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano. This guy knows he's got a bad back and knows he's on his last big payday, and he didn't care who he took down to get it. I am so glad that he's a Dodger again so we can show him the proper respect at the ballpark.

In years past, Sabean may have bid his contract up and up, and either signed him for an exorbitant amount of money, or missed out on every other decent guy in trying. Would you rather see Ceaser Izturas or Juan Uribe in the middle infield? I think the Edgar Renteria signing was a bit much, but maybe only a few million too high. Yes, it would be nice to see 2/$15-16 attached to his name but it is much better than the alternative. Truly, the more this has played out, the better off I think the Giants made out. Renteria will not block Manny Burriss for long, and will in fact help more than anything. If the Giants signed Furcal, we're talking 2012-2013 to see Burriss. He probably wouldn't even be here by then.

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