Who will sign Rafael Furcal and Garrett Anderson?

FurcalThe Los Angeles Angels have passed on offering arbitration to veteran left-fielder Garret Anderson. This comes as no surprise since the organization previously spent $3 million to buy out Anderson’s $14 million contract. The Los Angeles Dodgers have also refused arbitration to a former All-Star, shortstop Rafael Furcal.

The Angels spent $3 million to buy out the $14-million option on Anderson’s contract, but Monday’s decision doesn’t necessarily mean Anderson’s 15-season career with the Angels is over. The team can still negotiate with the outfielder, who has hired Scott Boras as his agent.

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said Furcal’s days with the team aren’t necessarily over.

“We obviously have interest in the player and the player has interest in being here,” said Colletti, adding that he spoke over the weekend to Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, which represents Furcal.

But the Dodgers’ refusal to offer him arbitration is further evidence that Furcal’s demand for a four-year deal isn’t the only point of contention in their negotiations. The Dodgers are also reluctant to re-sign him at the average annual salary of $13 million he made over the three years of the contract he completed this year, and an arbitration hearing might have resulted in a raise.

The Angeles will be fine in the outfield, whether they decide to re-sign Anderson or not. They have Torii Hunter, Gary Matthews Jr., Juan Rivera, Vladimir Guerrero, and Chone Figgins, all who can play the outfield positions. Hopefully, the Angels are doing a salary dump with Anderson’s contract so they can secure Mark Texiera to at least a three-year deal. Texiera was the only Angel who could swing a bat in the ALDS against the Red Sox. If they lose him, they’ll be without a gold-glove first baseman and have to rely on Guerrero as their only source of power. Anderson still has one or two productive years left in him. He’s mediocre at best in left field, but can still hit around .300 and give you 17 home runs. He’s also a California loyalist and could find a perfect fit with…

The Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be setting themselves up for failure. It’s true that Manny Ramirez propelled the team into the NLCS with his bat, but he was able to do it with the exceptional pitching of Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, and Hiroki Kuroda. Lowe will likely return to Boston next year, so the Dodgers will be without an ace in their rotation. Now, they’re going to let Rafael Furcal go, either to Oakland, San Francisco, or Atlanta. If the Dodgers are dumping contracts in order to sign Ramirez, the future Hall of Famer will garner a contract so large that they team will be unable to fill the holes left by Lowe and Furcal.

Why not just let Ramirez go back to the American League where he can’t harm their already pathetic division? The Dodgers could then make an attempt to sign CC Sabathia, and bolster their already strong rotation. Re-sign Furcal and then go after Adrian Beltre and Garret Anderson to fill the position at third base and left field, respectively. I know Sabathia will land a gigantic contract, but it won’t be nearly as disgusting as Ramirez’s. If Dodgers GM Ned Colletti plays it wisely this off season, he can definitely put together a team that reaches the playoffs once again.

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