More Furcal Info, Deal Not Done Yet
As Dave noted, it sure looks like Rafael Furcal is heading to Atlanta. That being said, the deal isn't completely done yet.
According to Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, the shortstop and Atlanta haven't come to an agreement yet, though Kinzer admits that if Furcal chose right now, he would head to Georgia.
Here's what Kinzer told the L.A. Times:
"It's not done yet, but if he chose right now, it would be Atlanta. ... "We haven't signed anything yet. We haven't had an agreement yet."
Of course, that could be procedural if Kinzer has made up his mind, and at least one reporter, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the pact would be for three years and $30 million. If Furcal does sign, whether today or soon, there's another decision the Braves will have to make: How do they accomodate Furcal, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar in the same infield?
There's split opinion on what would happen with the sudden glut of infielders. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien thinks the Furcal move opens the door to trade Escobar for pitching help, something they need now that A.J. Burnett picked the Yankees over their own five-year offer. They've already kicked the tires on Zach Greinke of the Royals and Pirates starter Paul Maholm, among others.
Meanwhile, MLB.com's Mark Bowman insists that Atlanta plans on keeping both of the players who could be displaced by Furcal's arrival. Bowman claims the Braves will move Johnson back to left field -- remember, he's started there in the past -- and have Furcal play second base, not short, as a way to keep Escobar manning the six spot.
Which scenario seems more likely? Hard to tell. If I was pushed on it, I'd say that O'Brien's right and Escobar could be for the offing, provided Atlanta can find a good fit. Escobar for Greinke anyone? That's Atlanta GM Frank Wren on line one.
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