Agent: Furcal seeks $50 million in free agency

Updated: November 12, 2005, 12:23 AM ET
By Enrique Rojas | ESPNdeportes.com

MIAMI -- Free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal has set a price tag of $50 million over five or six years for his next contract, agent Paul Kinzer told ESPNdeportes.com.

"Things have changed significantly since the free-agent period started. There's only one Rafael Furcal available and whoever wants to get him will have to pay for what he is worth," Kinzer said Friday. "We're looking for a five- or six-year contract, and $50 million is a pretty realistic figure."

Rafael Furcal
Furcal

Furcal had previously said he would look for a contract similar to the one Edgar Renteria signed with the Red Sox before the start of last season, worth $40 million over four years.

The 183 players who filed for free agency since the end of the World Series can start negotiating money with all teams starting Friday. Furcal filed for free agency after playing the last six seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

Kinzer said at least five teams have contacted him, including the Braves, and are ready to pay what Furcal is asking.

The New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals have already shown interest in Furcal and, according to Kinzer, the New York Yankees have also contacted him to find out if Furcal would consider playing center field.

Depending on who replaces Theo Epstein as general manager, the Boston Red Sox could also join the chase. A move to Fenway Park would mean Furcal would likely not play shortstop unless Renteria is traded.

"Raffy is OK with playing shortstop, second base or center field," Kinzer said. "Just give him a glove and he will play wherever you ask him to."

Kinzer and Atlanta officials will meet again next week, but there is no schedule for further talks.

"There will be a lot of talking now, but I don't expect to sign a contract until the beginning of December," Kinzer said.

After a slow start, Furcal ended the season batting .338 in the Braves' last 78 games. He finished the season hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. Furcal also stole 46 bases and scored 100 runs.

Furcal, who was the National League's Rookie of the Year in 2000, has a .284 career batting average with 189 stolen bases and 554 runs scored.

Click here for the Spanish version of Enrique Rojas' report.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.

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