Tag:Paul Kinzer
Posted on: December 1, 2008 4:13 pm

Furcal talks likely to drag into winter meetings

Don't hold your breath waiting for free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal to break the current lull in player movement this week.

The Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and other interested clubs shouldn't, either.

Agent Paul Kinzer told CBSSports.com on Monday that he is scheduled to fly to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and won't return until the winter meetings, which are scheduled to begin Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.

"We're still in discussion with a few teams," Kinzer said. "But it doesn't look like anything will be finalized until the winter meetings."

The Athletics are widely believed to be the leader in pursuing Furcal. The shortstop and his agent visited the Bay Area last week and toured the Oakland Coliseum, among other things. Kinzer said last week that Furcal has a four-year offer on the table but declined to name the team. It is believed that Oakland may have a three-year offer to Furcal with a vesting option for a fourth year.

The Giants, Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs also are believed to have expressed interest, although the Braves' seriousness likely is tied directly to whether they trade shortstop Yunel Escobar. He was one of the pieces of a framework of a deal when the Braves were discussing pitcher Jake Peavy with San Diego.

Furcal is coming off of a three-year, $39 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose initial interest in re-signing him appears to have cooled significantly.

If Oakland does sign Furcal, the domino effect there likely would be a spinoff trade involving incumbent Athletics' shortstop Bobby Crosby. Baltimore, the Dodgers, Cincinnati and the Giants are among the clubs that need shortstops this winter and, as such, would represent potential new homes for Crosby.

Kinzer also represents free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez and has said that serious discussions between the closer and other clubs likely will not commence until the winter meetings.

The Los Angeles Angels are expected to offer Rodriguez arbitration by tonight's midnight EST deadline. Players offered arbitration have until Dec. 7 to decide whether to accept. Rodriguez is expected to be pursued heavily by the New York Mets as well.

Posted on: November 24, 2008 5:55 pm

Furcal decision probably coming next week

In the midst of a wide-ranging flurry of reports Monday, the agent for shortstop Rafael Furcal said that he continues talking with a handful of teams and would like to "narrow it down" this week.

However, Paul Kinzer said that "narrow it down" doesn't necessarily mean sign with a club, something that might not happen until next week.

"We're still talking to three teams," Kinzer said. "We'll try and narrow it down this week."

Oakland and San Francisco remain the most aggressive clubs pursuing Furcal.

Kinzer said there are also "two" other teams who continue to seriously discuss the free-agent shortstop, though he said he promised at least one of them that he would not disclose the club's name.

Kinzer called inaccurate a report from the Dominican newspaper El Caribe that Oakland had offered four years and $48 million.

"Those numbers, those aren't the exact numbers," said Kinzer, who said Furcal has a four-year offer on the table from a team other than Oakland.

It is believed that the Athletics may have a three-year offer to Furcal with a vesting option for a fourth year.

Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs also are believed to have expressed interest. The Braves are on hold, though, as long as trade talks with San Diego regarding Jake Peavy remain at a standstill. Atlanta's pursuit of Furcal is contingent on whether the Braves trade shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Padres as part of a package for Peavy.

Based on where the free agent talks and contract terms currently are, the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom Furcal played for the past three seasons, currently are not serious players for Furcal barring a dramatic shift, according to the agent.

"That's possible, but there's still time," Kinzer said.

As colleague Danny Knobler noted in a blog post earlier Monday, the Dodgers would like to retain Furcal but so far haven't been willing to offer him four years. The Dodgers have been attempting to limit their long-term commitments with several young players on the verge of arbitration.

"We aren't going to make a decision this week," Kinzer continued. "We're going to narrow it down to a couple of teams and see where it goes from there."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com