Scott Boras has some new company in the race for the title of biggest scumbag among agents in Major League Baseball.
Boras—meet your new competition, Paul Kinzer.
The same day that Kinzer was in New York after finalizing the deal that brought Francisco Rodriguez to the Mets, he had the audacity to say when asked about how the contract situation regarding Rafael Furcal had changed he panned "I'm embarrassed and I'm sure (Braves GM) Frank (Wren) is embarrassed."
I don't think embarrassed is the word Paul. Angry or ticked off might be better. I'm thinking that Wren's feeling is screwed over right about now.
In the long run, the Braves will probably be better off without Furcal, Burnett, and Peavy, all of whom they've been close to deals with, but the other parties just continued asking until they just asked for too much and just left or went elsewhere.
Each situation is different, but for this one I'm not blaming the Dodgers or Furcal specifically. The guilt is completely on the shoulders of Paul Kinzer. Just like the deal for Jake Peavy is totally on the shoulders of Padres GM Kevin Towers who thought that two major league ready players plus two prospects weren't enough for Peavy.
I can somewhat buy the logic that Burnett chose the Yankees because it's only 200 miles from his Baltimore home, but this is the Yankees and they'll overpay any free agent to keep him from somewhere else.
Oh I can't forget Mike Hampton. Wanting to show the Braves some loyalty and come back for another year for cheap in return for management not giving up on him while he was injured for the past three years.
So Braves fans—you have your targets to be angry now. I can understand some frustration with Wren but this week any verbal shots at agent Paul Kinzer are likely justified.
So if you're Wren—the question is "What do we do next?"
Re-sign Smoltz and Glavine sometime in January. Make serious inquiries into the pitchers who are available, quality arms who aren't getting the bulk of the financial attention (Brad Penny, Jon Garland). Call about Adam Dunn, or Bobby Abreu for left field and see what the Cardinals might want for Rick Ankiel or Ryan Ludwick.
Wren might be able to sign Penny and Garland for the same price as Furcal ($33M over three years).
The Braves wanted an ace and almost had the best defensive double play combo in all of baseball. No luck on either front.
A few under the radar signings and Atlanta could have a rotation of five guys who are No. 2 or No. 3 starters (Smoltz, Penny, Jurrjens, Vazquez, Garland) that won't tax the bullpen and the offense can score enough runs to give them a decent number of wins.
But for today, I wouldn't be shocked to be Keith Olbermann on MSNBC putting Kinzer on the board for today's "Worst Person in the World" and totally going off. It would at least give the Braves' fans and management a much-needed laugh and safety valve for venting frustration.