Furcal signs with Dodgers, not Braves
LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal has accepted a deal to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the star shortstop's representatives confirmed Thursday while refuting the Atlanta Braves' claim that Furcal reneged on a deal with them.
"There was never an agreement reached between Rafael Furcal and the Atlanta Braves," agent Arn Tellem said in a statement. "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."
Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that he thought Paul Kinzer had agreed to a deal Monday on Furcal's behalf. Kinzer works for an agent group headed by Tellem.
Instead, Furcal on Wednesday accepted a three-year contract with the Dodgers worth at least $30 million.
"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 shortstop and not make the position change to second base that the Braves were requiring," Tellem said.
Tellem said he understands the Braves' frustration with the outcome of the negotiations, but that Furcal's representatives "conducted ourselves with dignity and complied with all the rules of major league baseball throughout this process."
The 31-year-old switch-hitter, coming off a $39 million, three-year deal with the Dodgers, played for the Braves from 2000-05.
Tellem said there wasn't a deal with the Braves because there was not an agreement signed by both sides and the players' association and MLB had not confirmed the deal.
Furcal was likely to take a physical Friday, meaning his agreement with the Dodgers could be finalized as soon as then.
Tellem said he hopes to negotiate for other players with Atlanta in the future.
"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," he said. "In short, we would not want this incident to color their better judgment."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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