The Dodgers have signed Rafael Furcal to a 3 year, 30 million dollar contract. This is such a huge surprise to me, and a great move on the Dodgers part.
I can’t believe that they sign Furcal for only 3 years, and for only 10 million per. I thought that he would get 4 years, 52 million. I don’t know why the market collapsed the way it did. If the Giants added a year and an extra 3 million to the Edgar Renteria signing they could have matched Los Angeles’ offer to Furcal. There’s no question that Rafael is a much better shortstop than Renteria. He also made a lot of sense for the A’s. They offered the most years — 4 years, 36 million — but weren’t able to sign him. Why didn’t they just up their offer to 4 years, 40 million. That could have lured Furcal to Oakland. I would have also liked to see the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Reds make a better offer. A lot of teams just past up on the chance to get a very good leadoff man at shortstop.
The Dodgers did a fantastic job. They lock up the left side of their infield for only 16 million per year. 34 million is still available to sign a big bat for the outfield and a starting pitcher. With Takashi Saito being non-tendered, the Dodgers could look for some bullpen help as well. I’d like the Dodgers to sign Manny for 20-25 million per year, and then Randy Johnson for 1 year, 8 million. The remaining money could be used on a reliever. This team would be very solid, and almost as good as last year’s squad. (it hurts to lose Derek Lowe) This has been a very productive offseason for the Dodgers thus far.
By the way, the mystery team in all of this was the Braves. They were apparently very close to signing the leadoff man, and offered him the same amount of money that the Dodgers did. The Braves would’ve played Furcal at second base and moved Kelly Johnson to left field or to another team. Yunel Escobar could have been traded as well. Reports say that Furcal had a gentlemen’s agreement to sign with the Braves, but then he ditched them for the Dodgers. Atlanta won’t be working with Furcal’s agents, Paul Kinzer and Arn Tellem, for quite a while because of this.
Man, players have been jumping off the board ever since the start of the Winter Meetings. Ever since then, CC Sabathia, Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Furcal, AJ Burnett, Kerry Wood, and many others have signed. I can’t wait until we find out where the other players go. It looks like Mark Teixeira will be making a decision soon. Can’t wait.
Rafael Furcal has been a hot topic among baseball writers, but not among baseball teams. They have been disappearing from the Furcal sweepstakes after the A’s dropped out. The Indians could be interested, however.
I’m surprised that the A’s dropped out. They seemed like the perfect fit for Furcal, especially after the Giants signed Edgar Renteria. They offered him 4 years 35-40 million. Furcal declined, and the A’s ended their pursuit. I’m sure talks will start up again, partly because teams are dropping out of the Furcal sweepstakes.
There no longer seems to be a great fit for Rafael. The Dodgers don’t want to pay the amount of money he wants, and even if he came back with a smaller demand it’s possible the Dodgers could decide to fill different holes with their money. The Giants are out, and the A’s won’t up their offer. Just like that, the top three bidders are all out.
Some wild cards could enter the mix, however. Like mentioned above, the Indians have shown interest. Furcal would make so much sense for their team. A signing would allow them to move Grady Sizemore down to the #3 hole in the lineup, greatly improving the overall team. Jhonny Peralta could move to third base in order to accommodate such a move. The Indians seem like the team that could jump in and steal Furcal right off the market.
The Twins could also make sense. They have 15 million to spend, and don’t have much speed in their lineup. They pulled out of the Casey Blake sweepstakes (more on that later) almost right after the A’s dropped out on Furcal. This could just be a coincidence, but you never know. It seems to make a lot of sense to me.
The Cubs want to add a leadoff man and almost had Furcal signed when he last entered free agency 3 years ago. He still fits great on their team. Ryan Theriot would move to second base, and Mark DeRosa would move to right field. Adding Furcal to their already impressive lineup would make them a much better team, which is hard to do when you win 97 games. The only issue is payroll. The Cubs only have about 3 million left to spend after arbitration raises if my calculations are correct. Jason Marquis could be traded, but it would still be a stretch to fit Furcal in. This is possible nontheless.
So we have learned that Furcal won’t sign with the A’s unless he takes less than what he wants, his market is not exactly booming, and the Indians, Twins, and Cubs could be possible dark horses.
The A’s are looking like the frontrunners for Rafael Furcal. The only teams left in the bidding are the A’s, Giants, and a mystery team. The mystery team is not the Reds according to Jon Heyman. (same link as above) The A’s pursuing Furcal makes sense. They could have a very good team next year with the additions of Matt Holliday and Rafael Furcal. With talks of them also being in on Nick Johnson and Jason Giambi, the offense looks like it will be getting much better. The Giants, Dodgers, and other teams looking for a shortstop will have to turn to Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria. Finally things will start moving once Furcal signs.
We’ve seen many rumors about the Giants agressivly pursuing Rafael Furcal, but if they lose out on the bidding, Orlando Hudson would be their backup plan. They have shown some serious interest in the free agent second baseman, and he might be a better signing than Furcal. Hudson also plays a scarce position, and even though he doesn’t have the speed of Furcal, he is one of the best defenders in the MLB at his position. He also should be much cheaper because the Cardinals and Indians are the only teams interested besides San Francisco. I said previously that I thought Hudson made the most sense among the Giants free agent targets. Of course, they could always sign both, but payroll would be starting to get tight in that situation. It would be rising from 76 million the year before, to possibly 90 million in ’09. I find it more likely that they sign O-Dawg or Furcal to fill one infield void, and then they trade Jonathan Sanchez to fill the other one. It is definatly looking like the Giants are getting one of the two. Whatever they do, they will be trying to compete next year in the weak NL West.
Free agency started only 4 days ago, yet Rafael Furcal has already gotten a 3 year, 39 million dollar offer from an unkown team. That’s the same amount of money that he made during his last contract with the Dodgers. No one knows who made this big time offer, but my guess is the Giants. Furcal’s agent said that the Giants had made an offer, but wouldn’t reveal it. He also said that the A’s haven’t made one yet. No other teams have been named specificly, so I think he ends up in San Francisco unless the A’s or Dodgers make some offer out of nowhere to land him. Also, the article says that he is “very excited” about the chance to play for the Braves again. Yunel Escobar might not be traded in a Jake Peavy deal, but they might swap him out for a power hitting left fielder or a starting pitcher. Furcal would make a great replacement, plus they would be adding a true leadoff man. Other mystery teams that could have made the big offer are the Cardinals, Cubs, A’s, Blue Jays, or Royals. None are great fits for various reasons, but are all possible. His agent also said that he expects Furcal to sign within a couple of weeks.
The Giants and A’s are now the frontrunners to land former Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal. The battle across the bay! I’m surprised the Dodgers are out of it so early; I thought for sure they would be the team to sign him. I guess they would rather go cheaper with a guy like Orlando Cabrera and then spend more to adress third base and the rotation. Starting pitching could also be adressed cheaper by signing Randy Johnson, though. Maybe they’ll add two arms. I don’t know what they will do, but appearantly Furcal is on their backburner.
The A’s, after changin gears into win-now mode with the Matt Holliday trade, will try to continue improving their team, this time through free agency. They don’t have any speed in the lineup, but Furcal could change that very quickly. They already have a decent shortstop in Bobby Crosby, but he is in the final year on his deal and could easily be traded. Remember, they weren’t far behind the Angels last year in July. With Furcal and Holliday injected into that lineup, and with Mark Teixera possibly ditching LA to sign in Boston with the Red Sox, the A’s might compete for the AL West Crown.
The Giants also think they could be possible contenders. They recenly signed Jeremy Affeldt, and I talked in depth about all their free agent targets here. Furcal would give them a great leadoff man, and help change the style that they play baseball with. If they can trade Jonathan Sanchez for another infielder and then sign a decent #4 or 5 starter to replace him, they could contend in the very bad NL West.
So I really like the idea of Furcal signing with either of these teams. I’m upset that I got this pick wrong for my top 50 free agents, though. Darn!
The Giants are considering some of the top names on the free agent market. Guys like CC Sabathia, Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera, Casey Blake, Joe Crede, and Orlando Hudson are possible players the Giants could have interest in. The goal is to upgrade the infield where there is no sure thing. A couple of young, decent players are on the team, but they really need a veteran. Emmanuel Burres could be a solid middle infielder. Pablo Sandoval could take a corner position. John Bowker is decent and so is Kevin Frandsen. Overall, I think they just have to add somebody.
Sabathia makes some sense as they could then deal Matt Cain to the Brewers for Prince Fielder. Or just trade Jonathan Sanchez and head into ’09 with 3 stud pitchers. I talked in depth about CC to the Giants here.
Furcal would make a particually good aquisition. He could lead off for them and would really change their image as a slow, old team. I would shy away from Furcal, however, because of the price. It will take a lot of money to lure Furcal away from all the other teams seriously interested in him such as the Dodgers, A’s, Royals, Cardinals, and Blue Jays.
Cabrera would be easier to sign than Furcal, but he doesn’t do much anymore. Yes he can play good defense and hit for a decent average, but he has no power and little speed. It might be a better idea to save the money for a different position and continue playing Frandsen and Burres everyday.
Blake and Crede could be solid additions as well. I would rather pursue middle infield help, though. Pablo Sandoval is a pretty solid prospect. I know he could move to first if there is a third baseman aquisition, but he would then block top prospect Akinori Iwamura.
Hudson is the one that makes the most sense to me. There won’t be many serious bidders for him; only the Cardinals and Indians seem truly interested. Both teams have other big holes, so it wouldn’t be that hard to make them shy away to fill a different hole. Hudson would make a very nice aquisition for San Fran.
The Giants don’t have to get the infield bat via free agency, however. They could always just trade Jonathan Sanchez for an infield bat. They might even make a signing and a trade. Sign Furcal and trade Sanchez for Kelly Johnson. Just like that you have a middle infield. Whatever they do, it will be tough to compete in 2009 unless the Dodgers screw up in free agency.
The A’s have traded for Matt Holliday. Wow! This one is a real shock to me. I mean, I didn’t even know they were even in the bidding for him. They were just sellers, and now all of a sudden they become buyers. I thought the A’s would continue selling off parts, but I guess they want to go for it in 2009. For Holliday, they traded Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith. In my opinion, the A’s did a decent job. I’d probably give them a B because they lost a great outfield prospect and will probably miss the playoffs even with Holliday. I give the Rockies an A because they got a huge return for just one year of Holliday. Carlos Gonzalez is a stud prospect that could become a player only a little worse than Holliday. Huston Street could become their next closer, replacing Brian Fuentes. If they would rather give the job to Taylor Buchholz or Manny Corpas, Street could become trade bait for a starter. Greg Smith is more of a throw in, but he adds depth to the rotation. having him out there instead of Glendon Rusch should make a big difference. The Rockies still need to add some pitching, though. Now that about 8 million is off the books, maybe the Rox will pursue a veteran starter via free agency. Derek Lowe could make sense because he’s a ground ball pitcher. So you wouldn’t have to overpay for him. They might again have to look at trades. Like I stated before, Street could be flipped to a different team for an arm. Maybe even combine him with a player such as Garret Atkins for a top-of-the-rotation starter. I know some people will think that Atkins will be off the block because of Holliday being moved; they’ll want to keep a big bat in there. But Ian Stewart still is without a position if they keep Garret. I think they trade Atkins even though Holliday is gone. Full seasons of Gonzalez and Stewart will make up for his production. The A’s might enter the free agent picture also. They showed that they will try to contend next year by trading for Holliday. They do have 30-35 million to spend if they are willing to raise payroll to 80 million. You’d think that they would be in the market for left side of the infield help. Rafeal Furcal could become a prime target. Casey Blake and Joe Crede could become possible third basemen aquisitions for their team. If they want to, they could even add another big bat like Prince Fielder. Imagine Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday together in a lineup that already features Jack Cust and possibly Rafael Furcal. With that kind of team and with various young players preforming well, they could rival the Angels for the AL East. If they can’t catch them, the wild card is an option. The Rockies might be able to compete in the weak NL West. Overall I like this trade a lot for both teams, but the Rockies definatly won it.
The Dodgers are up for some major spending this offseason. They have 50 million to spend and have many needs. They need to adress the rotaion, resign Manny Ramirez, find out what to do at shortstop and third base, and possibly add a second baseman. 50 million seems like a lot, but when you add it up, they are very limited in trying to fill all of their holes with good players. Manny will cost at least 20 million per year, Rafael Furcal might take 15 million per to convince him to resign, and that leaves only 15 million to sign a starter and a third baseman. Casey Blake could return for 8 million, and then a cheap starting pitcher could be signed. Or they could go after a better starter like Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets, or Ryan Dempster. They would have to settle with a cheap third baseman in this scenerio. Nomar Garciaparra might be resigned to play third. If they are willing to either let Manny leave or to abandon other needs, CC Sabathia could enter the mix. He’s from LA and would be willing to sign for 120 million to go to the west coast. With Manny and CC going to the Dodgers, the remaining 10 million could be used to resign Casey Blake. Then give the shorstop job to Chin-Lung Hu. I could see this scenerio, but I find it unlikely. This is going to be a very important offseason for the Dodgers.
The Orioles are considering signing a shortstop this offseason. Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera, and Edgar Renteria could all be possible additions. I don’t really like the idea of the Oriols making any big free agent signings, but I understand what they’re thinking. This player would stay around while they’re contending. Orlando Cabrera is the only reasonable target to me. Rafeal Furcal will cost way too much. Edgar Renteria would only want a one or two year deal, so he won’t be around by the time they are competing. Cabrera won’t cost too much and he’s better than Rents. However, I think they should abandoned this idea and continue their rebuilding process. Trade Brian Roberts or sign him to an extension, extend Nick Markakis, and if they have an itch to spend some money, go after AJ Burnett. He would make a lot of sense for them if other teams get out bid.