Well, it turns out that the Braves have not signed Rafael Furcal...yet. In what could be a decision that takes longer than the TARP bailout orchestrated by the weasel Hank Paulson, Furcal is now deciding on whether to sign with the Braves or the Dodgers. The Dodgers got involved sometime on Tuesday, even though it was reported, and confirmed by two Braves officials, that the Braves, indeed, had signed Furcal to a 3-year deal with an option for a 4th year.
But, here are two key issues. Furcal has all along stated he wants to stay in LA, and LA wants him back....shoot, I want him back. Another key issue, besides the money, as pointed out by ESPN's Peter Gammons today, if Furcal signs with the Braves, he plays 2b, a position he has played only once in major league games. He did play 2b in the Dominican Winter League last year. If he signs with the Dodgers, he plays SS.
To me, if it is taking this long for an announcement to be made, he is leaning toward resigning with LA. They must be negotiating terms. Or maybe LA outbid Atlanta, and Furcal's agents are playing the two teams against each other. We'll soon find out. Possibly early Wednesday morning.
ESPN's Buster Olney speculated yesterday that the Astros may entertain trading Roy Oswalt at some point in 2009. With the payroll issues the Astros are having, together with a slowing economy, Ed Wade may be forced to deal Oswalt, maybe even this offseason. There would be plenty of suitors, starting with the Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs, and Brewers. I find it hard to beleive Wade would trade him to a team in the same division, but this is Ed Wade we are talking about. He could demand a nice package of prospects from the Brewers starting with 3bman Mat Gamel, SS Alcides Escobar, and C Angel Salome.
Houston may not be the only team who could become sellers should the economy continue in a recession in 2009. I could see the Diamondbacks making Brandon Webb available. Cincinnatti could make Aaron Harang available assuming he rebounds from his disastrous 2008 season. And of course, SD may still have Jake Peavy.
Update (5:15 EST): Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Furcal has decided to sign with the Dodgers. Finally, this saga is over.