Rafael Furcal pulls about face, stays with Dodgers

Two days ago it appeared that free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal would once again don an Atlanta Braves uniform in 2009. But the club Furcal left the Braves for in 2005 eventually came through with an offer more to his liking and now the most prized shortstop on the market is heading back to the Dodgers.

On Monday night, the Braves were under the distinct impression that they had a deal with Furcal. On Tuesday, the Dodgers re-entered the discussions, and by Wednesday afternoon the Dodgers and Furcal were hammering out the terms of an agreement, sources said.

The Braves on Wednesday were informed that Furcal would not accept their deal.

“When people deal with you in this manner, they lose credibility,” Braves GM Frank Wren said. “You don’t forget these things.”

According to Wren, this is how the situation played out:

· Wren reached agreement on the terms of a contract with Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, on Monday night, pending the approval of Furcal.

· Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday night, Wren spoke with Kinzer three or four times, negotiating the dollar amount, the years and terms of the vesting option, and other contractual details.

· Wren and Kinzer spoke again around midnight Monday night. Kinzer told Wren that he had not yet heard back from Furcal, but that Furcal was excited and that “we’re good.”

· On Tuesday morning, Wren woke up to a voicemail from Kinzer telling him to put a term sheet (the standard baseball term for an official contract offer) together.

· Wren went into his office in Atlanta, put the term sheet together and signed it.

· Shortly thereafter, Kinzer began “backpedaling,” saying he promised the Dodgers he would talk to them.

I don’t blame Wren for being upset because it looked like Furcal was going to be a Brave by the end of Tuesday. Then Wren wakes up on Wednesday and is told that Furcal is likely heading back to L.A. But that’s the business, I guess. Agents don’t care about the teams – they care about their clients and finding the best deals. It’s too bad it had to go down this way for the Braves.

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