Trying to make heads or tails of the Rafael Furcal situation is kind of like trying to figure out where the marker is going to stop on the roulette wheel before it stops spinning.
Furcal's leaning towards the Dodgers. Wait, he's signed with the Braves. No, hold on, he's verbally committed to the Braves, but hasn't officially signed.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Furcal deal was completed yesterday afternoon, and he was going to be taking a physical in Atlanta on Wednesday. Now, Furcal is supposedly still considering the Dodgers and Braves and isn't going to rush into a decision.
What's a Dodgers' fan supposed to make of this? Here's what:
- The longer this situation drags out, the better the chances that Furcal will end up back in Los Angeles. The best financial offer came two weeks ago from the Oakland Athletics, and Furcal didn't take that. Now he has a chance to return to Atlanta where he owns a home and spends much of his time during the offseason. The fact that Furcal hasn't signed a contract with Atlanta reveals that he has a strong desire to stay with the Dodgers.
- If Furcal does come back to the Dodgers, he will be vilified in Atlanta. General Sherman probably would have received a warmer reception in Atlanta than Furcal will when the Dodgers visit the Braves next summer. Furcal's name will be spoken in vain by Braves' fans and sports reporters all over the south. Get ready to have a target on your back, Raffy!
- If Furcal does sign with the Braves, look for the Dodgers to immediately make a play for Orlando Cabrera. Rumor has it that Cabrera's agent has been contacted by the Dodgers and has been told that the team has significant interest in the free agent shortstop. If Furcal spurns the Dodgers for the Braves, then there will be some desperation in Los Angeles.
No matter what happens, it is good to see GM Ned Colletti and owner Frank McCourt not let Furcal leave without a serious attempt to re-sign him. Furcal is an offensive spark at a vital position and Los Angeles fans were frustrated at the perceived lack of effort to keep him with the Dodgers.
Now, if the Dodgers can do something about Manny and the lack of starting pitching, the 2009 season won't seem so scary.