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Category: Rafael Furcal

Rafael Furcal's agents respond to Atlanta Braves' accusations

Arn Tellem, right, and Casey Wasserman.

Agent Arn Tellem of the Wasserman Media Group that represents Rafael Furcal issued a written statement today in response to comments made by Atlanta Braves officials.

Braves General Manager Frank Wren and President John Schuerholz said their club had reached an agreement to sign Furcal to a three-year deal, only to learn later that Furcal's agents were still negotiating with the Dodgers. Furcal on Wednesday agreed to a three-year, $30-million contract with the Dodgers and is tentatively scheduled to undergo a physical on Friday.

Of his relationship with Tellem and Paul Kinzer, Wren told a Georgia radio station: "That bridge is gone. I don't have to worry about burning it." Schuerholz also told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Braves would no longer consider signing players represented by Tellem's agency.

Tellem's  response:

With regard to the negotiations between the Atlanta Braves and Rafael Furcal, the essential facts are clear and cannot be disputed.

1. There was never an agreement reached between Rafael Furcal and the Atlanta Braves.

2. In fact, the Braves were fully aware that Furcal was not prepared to make a decision but had requested an opportunity to sleep on it, before deciding.

Rafael Furcal 3. Moreover, the Baseball rules which all agents and teams operate under are clear that no deal exists between a player and a team unless and until: (i) there is a signed and executed player agreement or; (ii) the Player’s Union and the Commissioner’s office have otherwise confirmed the deal.  Neither occurred here. 

4. Furcal ultimately decided to accept the Dodgers' offer, taking into consideration a number of factors the most important of which was his desire to continue playing short-stop and not make the position change to second base that the Braves were requiring. 

5. Losing out on an all-star player like Furcal is always disappointing, and we understand the Braves' frustration with the outcome of this negotiation, but it does not change in any way the fact that we conducted ourselves with integrity and complied with all rules of major league baseball throughout this process.

6. Our primary obligation is to serve our client's best interests, and we will continue to do so in accordance with all relevant rules governing MLB negotiations and the utmost integrity.

7. If it serves our clients we will continue to present opportunities to the Braves, which in accordance with the rules governing Major League Baseball, the Braves must entertain.  We hope that once emotions have subsided, the Braves will act in a manner consistent with not only their obligations under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the National Labor Relations Act, but also the best interests of the franchise. In short, we would not want this incident to color their better judgment. 

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Sports agent Arn Tellem, right, and Casey Wasserman. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Photo (inset): Rafael Furcal. Credit: Nati Harnik / Associated Press

Wake-up Call: Jason LaBarbera (sigh), Rafael Furcal, Brett Favre

Jason_labarbera

First things first: The Kings played so well last night and should have won the game outright against the Rangers rather than lose in OT 3-2. Why did they lose? Two words: Jason LaBarbera. The two goals the Rangers had in regulation (one a penalty shot) were cheap, and he should have stopped them (see picture above, clearly after he was faked out on the penalty shot). On one, which hit LaBarbera's glove and went in, he was slightly out of position and had to dive to his left even though it was clear the shot would go to his left because the Kings' defense had cut off everything else. (And he got booed on that miss.) We've already seen that LaBarbera (2.71 GAA and an .899 save percentage) is weak going to his left anyway. Even the Rangers beat writer from the New York Post could see what was going on: "The Blueshirts were routinely beaten to the puck. They were disconnected with and without the puck, leaving [goaltender] Steve Valiquette to his own devices facing repeated odd-man rushes and scoring opportunities from right in front." In other words, Valiquette played much better than LaBarbera. Another five or six games of this before Erik Ersberg is back. Sigh.

Add NHL: Todd Bertuzzi, formerly of the Ducks and now with the Calgary Flames, scored the game winner in OT against the Minnesota Wild in a spectacular play that saw Bertuzzi sprawling on the ice as he hit the puck into the net. Watch it.

Deal, deal, deal: There you go. One complaint about the Dodgers, and hours later they get the deal done with Rafael Furcal. I just hope they aren't done shopping. And what is with the Braves complaining that Furcal ended up spurning them? Get over it. It's business, and only business.

Deal, deal, deal 2: The Yankees this morning introduced their newest members -- pitchers CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett at the old Yankee Stadium. This is worth another sigh. Will anyone be able to beat the Yankees now? And they may go after Manny, especially with Manny's price going down each day that Mark Teixeira isn't signed. Manny deserves better, but he did sound a little greedy and overconfident at the end of the season, didn't he?

NFL watch: Brett Favre is fun to watch, even though he moves more slowly and is even looking old. The N.Y. Jets are focused on winning the next two games to capture the AFC East crown, but even if they can't do that, they could remain alive for a wild card. But former USC benchwarmer Matt Cassel may win it all -- he is having that kind of remarkable season.

Add NFL: The Kansas City Star did something unusual. The newspaper did a fever chart comparing the seasons of the flailing Chiefs (2-12) and the resurgent Miami Dolphins (9-5). It seems to indicate that the Chiefs may finally hit bottom this season (as the Dolphins did last season), but the real difference is that the Dolphins hired Bill Parcells to rebuild the team and he has proved over and over that he can win.

-- Debbie Goffa

Photo: New York Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival scores on a penalty shot as Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera watches it fly over his right shoulder during the second period last night. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

Rafael Furcal has a deal with the Dodgers

Rafael Furcal

The Times' Dylan Hernandez is reporting on latimes.com/sports that shortstop Rafael Furcal will be returning to the Dodgers.

Quoting multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity (because the deal hasn't been officially announced), Hernandez reports that the 31-year-old shortstop will be paid $7.5 million next season, $9.5 million in 2010 and $13 million in 2011. The contract includes an option for the 2012 season.

Greg Johnson

Photo: Rafael Furcal. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Rafael Furcal leaning toward Dodgers now, agent says

The Times' Dylan Hernandez reports that Rafael Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said today that the free- agent shortstop is leaning toward re-signing with the Dodgers.

"Right now, things have swung back to the Dodgers," Kinzer said during a news conference at Shea Stadium to introduce another one of his clients, ex-Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez, as a new member of the Mets.

It was only a day ago that Furcal was said to be leaning toward the Atlanta Braves. For the full story, go to latimes.com/sports.

-- Debbie Goffa

Continue reading »

Wake-Up Call: Manny Ramirez, Dodgers (someone wake them up), Marcus Allen, Ducks, Tom Brady

Rafael Furcal

First things first: The best thing to hit the Dodgers in 10 years, Manny Ramirez, could be headed to the Angels? The rumor mill is going crazy this morning as the Boston Red Sox get closer to signing first baseman Mark Teixeira. Of course, Teixeira is still being pursued by the Angels, his most recent team, as well as the Orioles. But the Red Sox seem to be closer and I don't hear the fans or owners expressing worry about spending. Meanwhile, the New York Post today says that while the Yankees admit to having an interest in Ramirez, the Angels now appear to want the ex-Dodger if they lose Teixeira. That prompts the question: What are the Dodgers working on besides Rafael Furcal? I can already hear their excuses. Someone wake up the Dodgers and tell 'em they need help. Dylan Hernandez reports that GM Ned Colletti confirmed this morning that negotiations with Furcal are continuing.

Add baseball, sort of: CC Sabathia vs. Oprah Winfrey? That is the Tale of the Tape on SI.com and Paul Tinelli has outdone himself. Both CC and Oprah are famous and rich and have had weight problems.

On to hockey: The Ducks last night did not look great on defense, as Helene Elliott points out in her game column. The Rangers, who won 3-1, would cut off Scott Niedermayer time after time, taking away his superb outlet passes. Here's the scoring summary. The last play of the game, in which Chris Pronger fell over Nikolai Zherdev after getting beaten, made me wonder if Pronger is playing so poorly of late because he wants to get traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs and get back with Brian Burke.

There are rules, after all: The Boston Globe has a story on the etiquette of fighting in the NHL. Who knew? Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart says, "You don't want to just grab a guy from behind. I made sure I got his attention before I dropped the gloves."

Marcus Allen He blames Al: Pro football Hall of Famer and ex-USC star Marcus Allen was on Dan Patrick's radio show this morning. Asked if any part of his body hurt now, long after retiring from the NFL, he said only his left shoulder, that he has a sore rotator cuff. During the interview, he also made it clear that he is disappointed about how the Raiders are doing and blames it all on owner Al Davis. If Davis was a GM and not an owner, he would have been fired long ago. Patrick then raised the subject of Christmas cards and asked Allen (who pointed out he was with the Raiders only when they were here in L.A.) if the team ever sent him a card. "No, no," said the Heisman Trophy winner. Pressed on the issue, he later added, chuckling the whole time, "I'd probably have a heart attack if they sent me one." Listen to the entire interview.

The vote is in: The Pittsburgh Steelers' Santonio Holmes made a controversial TD catch on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Was the TD call right or wrong? Of the 291 votes in our poll, 182 (63%) agreed with the call and 109 (37%) said it was not a TD.

What is stress anyway? SI.com has the most stressful moments in sports of 2008 and some of them might cause you to say, "Say what?" The Giants over the Patriots in the Super Bowl?  Huh? Only if you had a lot of money riding on the Patriots' having a perfect season. Or if you were Tom Brady. I think they missed the best one: Cubs fans watching their beloved team get swept by the Dodgers in the NLDS. That was painful and stressful.

Add Tom Brady: The Patriots' quarterback, caught at a holiday party, refused to talk about his knee yesterday. "When we win, I'm excited for us," he said. "When we lose, it stinks. It's no different when you're playing or when you're watching. My heart and soul is with this team, so you live and die with every win and loss." OK, maybe that Super Bowl loss should be No. 1 on the SI stress list after all.

-- Debbie Goffa

Top photo: Rafael Furcal reaches for a home run in Game 3 of the NLCS against the eventual World Series champions. the Philadelphia Phillies. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press.

Inset: Marcus Allen in 1992, when he was with the Raiders. Credit: Mike Powell  / Allsport

Rafael Furcal could be on his way back to Atlanta

Rafael Furcal could be back with the Atlanta Braves by the end of the day, according to his agent, Paul Kinzer. Read Dylan Hernandez's story at latimes.com/sports. It is the latest in a series of reports on the fate of the shortstop who's spent the last three years with the Dodgers.

-- Greg Johnson

Rafael Furcal hasn't signed with Braves yet, agent says; Dodgers still in running

Reports that Rafael Furcal has decided to sign with the Atlanta Braves are premature, his agent Paul Kinzer said.

"It's not done yet, but if he chose right now, it would be Atlanta," Kinzer said this morning at 9:52 a.m. Pacific time.

Kinzer acknowledged that he told the Braves something similar last night.

"We haven't signed anything yet," he said. "We haven't had an agreement yet."

Kinzer said he plans to call the Dodgers today to offer them a final chance to re-sign Furcal. The Dodgers have offered the shortstop a two-year contract with a vesting option for a third year. The Braves' offer is guaranteed for three years and includes a vesting option for a fourth.

The Braves and the Dodgers are the only two teams Furcal is considering, according to Kinzer.

Kizner said that Furcal will "probably" accept an offer today. Stay tuned to latimes.com/sports for full coverage.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Rafael Furcal hears Oakland A's knocking again

The A's are believed to be back in the bidding for Raphael Furcal, or so says SI.com's Jon Heyman, who reports that the deal being offered by Oakland is for about $40 million over four years.

If Furcal agrees to take Oakland's deal, the Dodgers may turn to infielder Orlando Cabrera, Heyman says, calling the former Angels infielder "one of the more overlooked players in this market."

But another option we're hearing is that the Dodgers may trade for Miguel Tejada, who is now with the Houston Astros.

Furcal is believed to prefer a return to the Braves or Dodgers. And The Times' Dylan Hernandez reported late last week that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says Furcal is a top priority.

-- Debbie Goffa

Dodgers chase Rafael Furcal; no progress on Takashi Saito

Saito LAS VEGAS –- Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said he exchanged text messages with Rafael Furcal’s agents on Wednesday night, but that he wasn’t able to speak or meet with them.

The Dodgers have offered Furcal a deal that is guaranteed for two years and includes a vesting option for a third year. Furcal, who wants a four-year deal, is also entertaining offers from Oakland, Toronto and Kansas City.

“I think we’ve made some progress,” Colletti said. “Because of the complications of the whole situation, it’s going to take more time than a typical deal would. It’s going to take, I believe, on our part, more creativity and on their part the willingness to accept more creativity. If they don’t have the willingness to accept more creativity, we’ll probably be on to someone else.”

Colletti said the Dodgers haven’t made any more progress in their efforts to re-sign closer Takashi Saito.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Takashi Saito. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

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Andruw Jones ready to begin Dominican assignment

Andruw Jones avoids a collision as Matt Kemp makes a running catch.

LAS VEGAS -- Dodger outfielder Andruw Jones, who suffered through both a knee injury and his worst season on the field last summer, arrived in the Dominican Republic by private jet Tuesday afternoon, hoping to prove his fitness during a winter league assignment with Aguilas Cibaenas.

Jones was met on the tarmac at the small airport in the central Dominican city of Santiago by former Dodger and Atlanta Braves teammate Rafael Furcal, who lives there and played last season for Aguilas while rehabbing from an injury of his own.

"Really, I don't know what happened," Jones, who hit just .158, striking out 76 times in 75 games, told the Dominican newspaper Listin Diario, which ran a photo of Jones and Furcal. "But I think the injury affected me more mentally than physically."

Jones, who had midseason surgery on the knee last summer, said he expects to make his winter league debut either Thursday, when Agulias plays in Santo Domingo against Escogido, or Friday in a home game in Santiago against the Azucareros.

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Andruw Jones avoids a collision as Matt Kemp makes a running catch during a July 25 game against the Washington Nationals. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

Wake-up call: Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, CC Sabathia

This is the wake-up call, in case anyone slept last night in Las Vegas.

From the activity or rumors of activity at the Bellagio, the site of Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings, it appears as if it was a full night, even if nothing of substance actually has gotten done yet.

MLBTRADERUMORS.com, a one-stop shopping place for all that might or might not be going on, has the latest on the Angels' Mark Teixeira. It looks like he could be headed to the Boston Red Sox. The Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals are outside candidates.

ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that agent Scott Boras finally met with the Dodgers to talk about Manny Ramirez after giving them the silent treatment but that there is no offer on the table.

According to our Mike DiGiovanna, It appears as if Frankie Rodriguez is very close to becoming an ex-Angel. The Mets reportedly have increased their offer.

Our Kevin Baxter expects we'll know more soon about Rafael Furcal and Jake Peavy.

Bill Shaikin explains why the Dodgers NEED to sign CC Sabathia.

And in other sports news: The Lakers are at Sacramento, whose Kings don't seem ready for them, and LA's Kings are at Colorado tonight, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called out Marion Barber, the NFL has laid off 10% of its office staff. NOW we know the economy is bad if the NFL is hurting.

-- Randy Harvey

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