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One Day Later, Furcal Chooses the Dodgers

Less than a day after the Braves were reportedly waiting for shortstop Rafael Furcal to tie the bow on their offer and join the Atlanta infield, the Dodgers are reportedly nearing an agreement with the free agent that will keep him in L.A.

According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Furcal has decided to sign with the Dodgers after weighing the pros and cons of a return to Atlanta against an improved offer from L.A. Not surprisingly, the "improved offer" may have been the most significant factor in the decision; the Dodgers reportedly offered Furcal a three-year deal with a fourth-year option, which is strikingly similar to the offer the Braves reportedly had on the table: 3-years, $30 million with a fourth-year vesting option.

Furcal's pursuit really has been one of the more intriguing ones in recent years, largely because he's left more money on the table more than once. It's not clear that the Dodgers deal will be better than the Braves' offer, and the Braves' offer wasn't the best one Furcal had on the table. That, of course, came from the A's more than a week ago, and was reportedly a full, four-year deal for $40 million.

The loss of Furcal also marks the third big setback Atlanta has had in the hot stove season. First, they missed on Jake Peavy, eventually walking away themselves when they got frustrated. Then, they missed on A.J. Burnett, who they wanted to replace Peavy in that slot. Now they've missed on Furcal.

Will Atlanta turn back to Peavy talks to get something done? Will they suddenly push for Derek Lowe? More trade options? It's a puzzling conundrum for GM Frank Wren, who suddenly seems to have plenty of money and no one to give it to. Funny for a recession, no?

By Cameron Smith  |  December 17, 2008; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Braves , Dodgers  
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