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Why the Furcal Fiasco Might Ring a Bell

Dec. 2008: According to the Atlanta Braves, free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal essentially reneged on a verbal agreement for a three-year contract, shopped their offer sheet to the Dodgers, then signed with the Dodgers. The Braves called the actions of agent Paul Kinzer "despicable" and vowed never to conduct business with clients of Kinzer's agency, Wasserman Media Group, again.

July 2004: The Cleveland Cavaliers released Carlos Boozer from a one-year, $700,000 contract after, according to the Cavaliers, Boozer agreed to sign a long-term contract extension with the team for the maximum amount allowed under the salary cap (around $39 million over six years). But upon being freed from his Cavaliers contract, Boozer then signed a six-year, $68 million contract with the Utah Jazz. Boozer's agent, Rob Pelinka, subsequently ceased representation of Boozer and did not collect his standard agent's commission for the contract.

The common tie: In 2004, Pelinka's boss, the basketball chief of SFX Sports, was Arn Tellem. In 2008, Kinzer's boss, the baseball chief of Wasserman Media Group, is Arn Tellem.

By Dave Sheinin  |  December 20, 2008; 11:53 AM ET
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It's one thing for an agent to try & cajole a team into a higher offer through bluff, bravado & sometimes pure B.S. But for an agent to take a firm & final negotiated offer sheet to another team & say "beat this & he's yours" just seems wrong, imo.

Posted by: BinM | December 20, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

so let me get this straight: art tellum, for (assuming a middle range 7% commission and a potential increased total value of $15m over four) just wrote off a MLB franchise forever for a measly $400k/year over four years? Is he planning on retiring?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 21, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

sorry, typed that wrong. If furcal's option is picked up, raising the deal by 15 million, at a seven percent cut, Wasserman is looking at 1.05 million over four years more than the Atlanta deal. So it's more like a $250k/ year potential. Without the option pickup, the difference for the agents is in the tens of thousands. Sounds brilliant.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 21, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

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