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[MLB] Rafael Furcal signs with the Dodgers


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Free agent Rafael Furcal has agreed in principle to a three-year contract with the Dodgers that would make him one of the highest paid shortstops ever, a source close to the negotiations said Saturday. The deal would guarantee Furcal, 28, nearly $40 million.

He is expected to take a physical Sunday and a news conference could be held in Dallas on Monday, the first day of baseball's winter meetings.

Furcal, who has played his entire six-year career with the Atlanta Braves, is a fleet switch-hitter with excellent range and a strong arm. He has a .284 lifetime batting average and last season had 46 stolen bases, 31 doubles, 11 triples and 12 home runs. He has averaged 107 runs scored the last four seasons.

Furcal chose the Dodgers over the Braves and the Chicago Cubs, who offered slightly less than $50 million over five years. The Braves wouldn't go higher than $36 million over four years.

The $13-million average annual value of the deal is significantly more than the $40-million, four-year deal the Boston Red Sox gave shortstop Edgar Renteria a year ago. Shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees makes nearly $20 million a year and Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles makes $11 million a year.

Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year deal for $252 million in 2001 to play shortstop for the Texas Rangers, but he has since moved to third base with the Yankees.

Dodger shortstop Cesar Izturis, who won the Gold Glove award in 2004, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected to play until July. With Furcal in the fold, Izturis is expected to move to second base and Jeff Kent would play first base.

Izturis will be in the second year of a three-year contract and Kent has one year left on his contract.

Landing Furcal is a significant coup for new Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti, who only three days ago was spurned by free agent outfielder Brian Giles. Giles resigned with the San Diego Padres for nearly $5 million less than the Dodgers were offering over three years, citing family considerations.

The Dodgers plan to remain aggressive in the free agent market. They are expected to sign either Bill Mueller or Joe Randa to play third base and have made offers to several free agent starting pitchers. Obtaining a power-hitting outfielder is also a priority.

As a huge Chicago Cubs fan I am not to happy about this right now, for weeks Furcal had been within our graps, we even offered him a 5 year 50 million dollar deal and he goes for less years and less money. Although 13 million IMO is too much for Fucal, we still need a SS however.

Where is joe when I need him? (BroChaos)

LA TIMES

Edited by AppleDave
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damn, that really hurts. our window for winning it all is getting shorter, and we could really have used him for a run next year (assuming we can keep everybody healthy).

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damn, that really hurts. our window for winning it all is getting shorter, and we could really have used him for a run next year (assuming we can keep everybody healthy).

thats a huge blow to our offseason moves, we told Nomar to take a hike. The only SS we have is Ronny Cedeno and we dont even know if the kid is a consistantly good player.

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well, we still have lee and ramirez...they have plenty of power. we just need people who can get on base, they don't need to be superstars or anything.

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well, we still have lee and ramirez...they have plenty of power. we just need people who can get on base, they don't need to be superstars or anything.

If neifi perez starts at SS on opening day, I will go insane.

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equally frustrating from atlanta's perspective. Chipper (sucks) renegotiated his contract and made something like $6 mil extra available to resign furcal or other free agents, and we still let him sign with LA.. so now, on top of finding a good closer, most of which are taken now, we have to find someone to play short and bat leadoff. our best shortstop prospect is still a year or two away and Wilson Betemit can play good D but does not have the speed to lead off. Word is we're going to trade for Julio Lugo from Tampa Bay.. not all that familiar with him. The only decent closer still out there seems to be Trevor Hoffman. Hopefully we can at least pull off that deal so we dont have to endure a Dan Kolb-esque fiasco again this year.

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equally frustrating from atlanta's perspective. Chipper (sucks) renegotiated his contract and made something like $6 mil extra available to resign furcal or other free agents, and we still let him sign with LA.. so now, on top of finding a good closer, most of which are taken now, we have to find someone to play short and bat leadoff. our best shortstop prospect is still a year or two away and Wilson Betemit can play good D but does not have the speed to lead off. Word is we're going to trade for Julio Lugo from Tampa Bay.. not all that familiar with him. The only decent closer still out there seems to be Trevor Hoffman. Hopefully we can at least pull off that deal so we dont have to endure a Dan Kolb-esque fiasco again this year.

Yeah after I have thought about it, Furcal does not derserve that kind of money. The Cubs are also interested in Lugo but who knows, we thought we were getting Furcal. I could see Hoffman with the Braves for some reason.... :yes:

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