Pump-Fake: Rafael Furcal Snubs Braves to Stay With Dodgers

You can count on Rafael Furcal not receiving a Christmas card from Frank Wren and the Braves organization in this holiday season. Just two days after the Braves believed they had landed their old/new shortstop, Furcal is signing a deal to stay put in Los Angeles, where he has spent the past three seasons. The Braves are upset with Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer.

"We were very surprised," he said. "After reaching an agreement on Monday night, and being asked to produce a term sheet for signature on Tuesday morning, which we did, we were surprised that they didn't return the term sheet. ... All of a sudden, they said they needed to go back to the Dodgers."

"I think you have to be upset with the turn of events," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "We usually don't do business this way. You don't expect people you have to deal with to do business that way."

I'm not very familiar with the signing process between agents and general managers, but it would seem Wren is claiming Kinzer took one extra step. According to him, a deal was in place and then they went back to the Dodgers to use more leverage.

According to Kinzer, however, that's not quite a true story.

"They (Braves) know we didn't have a signed contract, that we didn't have even a verbal agreement," said Kinzer, hours before Wren gave a very different account. "We had, 'Things look very good and Raffy's going to sleep on it.'"

"It's not done until we sign off and there's a physical exam," he told ESPN.com Tuesday, "and we haven't gotten that far. Until a letter of agreement is signed, we don't even start the process to get him to Atlanta for a physical."

This is actually a pretty solid verbal feud, but judging from these statements alone, don't you have to back Furcal and Kinzer? Nothing was signed, and all of a sudden the media catches wind -- from Wren's people -- that Furcal has "signed," when he really hadn't. What's that proverb? Something about counting chickens, hatching, etc.?

Regardless, when the dust settles, Furcal will be leading off and playing shortstop for the Dodgers for the next three years, reportedly for $33 million.

The Braves, this offseason, have now completed a deal for Javier Vazquez, but lost out on A.J. Burnett and failed to land Jake Peavy via trade. This situation with Furcal just adds to the offseason of disappointment -- which may be, in part, leading to the frustration being demonstrated by Wren.

Pump-Fake: Rafael Furcal Snubs Braves to Stay With Dodgers originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 17 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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