Furcal says he wants to stay

Short time left? | ajc.com

“I want to stay here,” Furcal said, “but it’s not my [decision]. It’s theirs, whether they want to keep me here. . . . If they want to go with younger players, I understand. I don’t have control of the situation.”

That’s a standard line free agents give. I think that the Braves would prefer to keep Furcal — assuming he stays out of jail for the rest of the year — but he does have a lot of control of the situation. The Braves would love to have him play under the same contract terms as this year — a one-year deal for $5.6 million — but of course he wouldn’t sign that contract. (Nor should he.) Furcal would probably love for the Braves to pay him $40 million over four years like Edgar Renteria got from the Red Sox, but the Braves won’t do that. I don’t think they’ll go much over three years, $24 million. That’s just a guess, but they’ve been reluctant to go much higher or longer than that. Since Jimmy Rollins, an inferior player who wasn’t eligible for free agency until after next season, got five years, $40 million, Furcal would have to give a hometown discount. My understanding is that he’s not particularly interested in that.

94 thoughts on “Furcal says he wants to stay”

  1. I know we are all TORN on this.

    Furcal brings the ONE thing to the table we don’t have…top of the order speed. I don’t care what Billy Beane says on that, I would rather have it then NOT have it. He’s a value to us with that.

    Plus, getting rid of Kolb, and likely John Thomson will save us some money so that should help. (and possibly LaRoche and Estrada too?)

    The flipside is that I like Betemit a lot but there are questions about his defense and he offers more power then speed…not a bad thing and he will cost less just a different thing.

    The bottom line though is that we have a built-in replacement who will cost a lot less so the liklihood is that Rafy goes.

  2. I don’t think Atlanta would offer any more than 3 years. Raffy will want more, so he would have to concede years and I doubt he’d do that. I don’t think we can afford to offer him more than 3 years when you look at the future. i.e.Giles, Andruw, and Chipper’s looming free agency years coming in the near future and the potential talent in the minors at SS.

  3. Furcal is going to be a gillionaire. A weak free agent market and his star caliber play the last 2 months of the season pretty much give him all of the leverage. I’d love to keep him. I agree that he would have to accept a below market contract for that to happen. The only thing that could work in the Braves favor would be if there was another market correction this winter. The money the Angels and the Sox paid for what they got was insane.

    I am not sold on Betemit. He is really not the defender that Furcal is and his bat looks good for the first time since his attention grabbing AA campaign a couple of years ago. If he were to win the starting position next year it would be a distinct downgrade.

    Read the ‘Natural’ in Sports Illustrated. Nothing more in there that Braves fans don’t know already. Ned Yost said it best though. Lets see how good he is second time around the league. Don’t get me wrong I’m pulling for Jeff Francoeur to be our next star. I love watching him play because he is so gifted. I just hope that he doesn’t turn into a frog at a crucial time this year. One note of interest. Latest series, KJ looked at 48 pitches, Frenchy looked at 16.

  4. Look at it this way. Yes we are losing Kolb and probably Thomson’s salaries. So there is money on the table, but Giles will be getting a raise and the Braves will probably offer Farnsworth a deal as well.

    Furcal might see a 2YR@14 mill.., but it wont be enough to keep him around. Also it will depend on if the Braves are going to cut back again, which they probably will. Unless we can somehow dump Hampton’s salary or at least part of his salary I dont see Furcal hanging around.

    If we dont keep Furcal I would like to see the Braves go after Izturis, but we’ll wait and see..

  5. From what I’ve seen of Betemit, he’s a much better defensive 3B than SS. Don’t wanna see him as a starter anywhere next year, certainly not SS. Nice backup, valuable guy this year, but I believe he’s kinda stopgap.

  6. hey csg – If we don’t get furcal, I would love to see any of one of the Angels many SS (izturis or figgins would be awesome) to give us some insurance at shortstop.

  7. Do you think we could dump Laroche to the angels? Erstad will be a free agent after the 06 season.
    Wishful thinking, huh?!?!

  8. Josh, I believe Izturis plays for the Dodgers…

    I don’t think Betemit is an adequate replacement for Furcal, nor do I think we can afford to keep Furcal. Unless he really loves Atlanta, which I can’t see, he’s not going to take a below-market contract and his second half is pricing him far above the team’s price range. So I think the only thing we can do is give Betemit a shot and hope he surpasses expectations.

  9. He’s gonna get at least 4 years and 32 million from someone – Orlando Frickin’ Cabrera got that deal. The reasonable range in which we could expect to sign him is probably between 4 years/$36 million and 5 years/$45 million (including a possible 4/40 deal in that range).

    I like the way he plays, but I don’t see us re-signing him.

  10. jenny – the izturis you’re talking about has a brother named maicer who plays for the angels.

  11. I think Furcal is as good as gone. The Chicago media is already pressuing the Cubs to sign him. They seem like a likely organization to overpay for his services.

    Francouer won’t even be arbitration eligible for another year or two. He’ll get the league minimum, or maybe a little more.

  12. I know the Angels have Kotchman, who they’re real high on for good reason. He’s probably better than LaRoche right now. I wouldn’t know, but it seems like they’d be looking for a DH, if anything.

  13. I think we have all concluded that the Braves and Furcal will not be able to agree on the duration or the value of the contract. While I like to see Furcal staying in Atlanta, I have accepted the fact that it will not happen.

    So, this winter will be very interesting. I would probably agree to use the Furcal money to keep Farnsworth (subjected to his performance for the reminder of this season). The braves must also make a decision on LaRoche. Can he be the John Olerud type of player which the Braves have previously projected? I have my doubt. Adam doesn’t hit for high average or high power, and he doesn’t draw a lot of walk, and he has his share of strikeouts. So, he is no where close to be the Mark Grace or John Olerud or Sean Casey type of first baseman in my own opinion. The Braves will need to decide if they should give Adam another season to prove himself.

    I think we should trade not only Adam but also Estrada, Thomson, and Ramirez when they still have some trade value and people still haven’t realised they are not as good as the general perception. I believe most people would agree on this as well.

    So, assuming the Braves will once again stay with the outfield foursome of Johnson, Langerhans, Francouer, and Andruw, the areas in question for this offseason will be shortstop, first base and bullpen.

    I wish the Braves can find a way to trade for Felipe Lopez, but I am not sure if the Reds are that stupid.

  14. who bats leadoff next year if we lose Furcal?

    C – McCann/Estrada
    1B – Chipper/Laroche
    2B – Giles
    SS – Betamit
    3B – Marte
    LF – Johnson/Langerhans
    CF – Andruw
    RF – Francour

  15. The greatest “threat” to our retaining Raffy is whether the Cubs want him or not. First, they have to make a huge decision regarding whether to keep Nomar or not. Otherwise, there isn’t the same market for SS that there was before last year as it’s true that Cabrera and Rollins signed great contracts but that just eliminates both their teams from respective Furcal possibilities. I think we should do everything we can to keep him. Chipper said it best in that the rest of the top of the batting order sees a lot better pitches when Raffy is on base. There’s no one else on the team that can do what Raffy does. If he leaves then I can see the Braves putting together an attractive package to go after Carl Crawford.

  16. OneEye, I think most people are still hesitated to conclude Chipper will play first base next season, and I doubt Chipper is willing to change position either. However, we should not forget that Marte can play a little bit of first base as well. Therefore, I am not surprised if we see a LaRoche/Marte platoon at first base next season. While we all love Julio, we can not assume he will be returning for sure. I know the Mets will try hard to sign Franco again this winter.

  17. Yeah, if we can get Sosa from the Rays for just Green, I am sure we can get Crawford by offering Kelly Johnson, Estrada, and Ramirez…what a dream!!! Haha!!!

  18. Just a crazy idea, anyone thought about the BRAVES signing Nomar for cheap since he was a GT player?

    I am not too hot about the idea, but just a thought…

  19. Kelly Johnson has the right profile to lead off, but I guess we can’t yet be certain that he’s even going to hit. I’m not ready to give up on him, but with uncertainty expected all over the infield in one form or another, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves looked to “upgrade” the outfield with a veteran of some sort… I just hope that, if we go that way, it’s a decent one.

  20. LaRoche should bat lead-off. That way, there’s at least one plate appearance per game where he can’t hit into a double play.

  21. creynolds, I agree with you. I think the Braves will have to take a long and hard look at all the rookies again during this offseason to decide who to keep, sort of like the 1994 class when they finally decided on keeping Chipper, Klesko, and Lopez while dumping Nieves, Kelly, Oliva, and Tarasco…

  22. Is Eddie Perez done as a player or will he give it one more year. We need to trade both Estrada and Pena while they have some value.

  23. Is Furcal leaving really a bad thing for our OFFENSE? Yes, it’s obvious our defense will downgrade since, well, he’s one of the best defensive shortstops in the league. But just think what kind of corner outfielder or first baseman you can get offensively for 4/$40m. Consider the money saved from Thomson and Furcal (Ramirez, Estrada and LaRoche don’t matter; they don’t make any money, and you’re going to fill their roster spots with the same price of player) and you can get a great offensive player.

    Honestly, what about Kelly Johnson at short? They moved Betemit off SS just like Johnson, who knows which one will be better?

  24. Speaking of the name Kelly, I was too young to really remember Mike and Roberto Kelly. Were they any good? I was too young to remember them from an analytical point of view, but I do remember I liked Roberto Kelly for some reason.

  25. I wouldn’t want anything to do with Nomar’s defense; I’m a lot more confident in Betemit’s. Hudson would be screaming for his head by June, and rightly so. If Mr. Hamm wants to continue his career, he should do it at third base. Which isn’t exactly a problem area on this team.

  26. Since they moved KJ all the way to the outfield, while Betemit continued as an infielder who sometimes played shortstop, I think it’s reasonable to say they think Betemit’s better.

    Roberto Kelly was an okay player, miscast as a leadoff man but stuck there because the Braves didn’t have any other options. Mike Kelly sucked. Big time. He was so bad that the Braves went a decade before drafting another college player in the first round. (Well, I don’t think that’s the real cause and effect, but what if it was?)

  27. Agreed with Michael, the Cubs will be the big bidder on Raffy, and I think he’ll come in no less than 4/$32m. I don’t think the Braves have confidence in Betemit to play SS, though, so I think they may bid high on him.


  28. Unless they can get Nomar for Robert Fick money (1 yr/1 Mil), forget him. Somebody else will overpay. And, as someone mentioned, his defense is less than great.

  29. Mike Kelley was George Lombard before George Lombard was himself. Toolsy outfielder with speed et al but couldn’t hit worth a damn.

    Erstad?????? Please, tell me you were being sarcastic.

    Izsturiuses – both suck.

    Nomar??? No way. Averages 50 games a year.
    and he is into his decline stage. He’ll play in the AL where he can DH. If he thought his contract this year was below market he is going to cry when he signs his next one. Should have signed that 4 year 60 when the Red Sox were still smoking crack.

    Yes Rob Cope, Furcal leaving is a bad thing for the offense. Take a look at his production vis a vi other SS in the NL. Losing a championship caliber offensive SS that plays good defense is a definate loss.

  30. joshq, Sorry man. After re reading the post you didn’t say you wanted Erstad just a place to put LaRoche. Egad I need to stop speed reading these threads.

  31. yall are selling Mike Kelly a little short. He put up some big minor league power numbers. Just couldn’t do it in the bigs. he was a good 4th outfielder for a couple of years. Never lived up to his projections.

    Now the fun stuff.

    I think the key to next season is how they try to deal with first base. How that domino falls will determine a lot. Do we think Julio is coming back, could he platoon with Thorman? Do we trade LaRoche? Will Chipper move over?

    Are Johnson and Francouer really here to stay?

    Could Betemit handle short everyday and hit enough?

    Can we re-sign Raffy? Do we want to?

    Who catches?

    Where does Marte fit in?

    This just covers the position players. I haven’t even come up with my answers yet. JS is going to be a busy man this offseason.

  32. Correction for those who were wondering – I mentioned trading Laroche to the Angels and pointed out that Erstad was a free agent after 06. I wasn’t saying we should get erstad (yikes). I was just wondering if the angels might be interested in lasuck because erstad may be gone after 06.

  33. laroche, estrada, and some pitching (horacio, davies) for adam dunn. 3 potential 40+ hr guys in the middle of the lineup would be great!
    franc the tank
    ss guy (whoever it may be)
    what a dream it would be to keep furcal at the top, and get dunn.

  34. My feeling is that Furcal will not be signable for 3 years/$24M, and the Braves will not go above that for either years or dollars. Furcal’s a nice enough player and I wouldn’t mind if he re-upped, but someone will lay out more money and/or years and he won’t be back. The free agent pickings are pretty slim, so I think it’s about 80% we are looking at Betemit starting at SS next season.

  35. I wonder more and more if Chipper will even agree to move to first. He bent over once for the team and moved to lf, but I think he wants to prove that he can be the man at 3B. In this scenario, I would put Marte at 1B in a platoon with LaSuck. I’d hate to see Franco go, but how long do you keep him around if you think you can upgrade another way.
    I agree that JS will be busy, but a lot of the problems the braves have are good problems caused by a lot of young talent.

  36. Yes Dunn will get you a bunch of homers, but I don’t know if I can watch him strikeout 200 times a season.

  37. my lineup is very fictitious. i just realized i have 4 outfielders and no 1st baseman. that would be interesting.

  38. Why in the world would you move your #1 prospect to first base only to give 2/3 of the starts to someone else? It’s nonsensical.

    At any event, I’m not convinced of the soundness of Chipper’s shoulder. If he’s going to avoid surgery (given the six-month rehab for Rolen’s surgery for a similar-but-worse injury, that’s a pretty good idea) his continued ability to play third base is question.

  39. Hold on a second though, Johnny. We are below average offensively at 1B and LF. You’re telling me that sticking a league average offensive player at SS and getting a big bat in LF and 1B would not be an upgrade? Furcal has a .755 OPS. Betemit can match that at a 1/10 of the cost, albeit with less steals and inferior defense. But then you use the money you saved on Furcal to go get someone who can give you a .900 OPS at LF or 1B which is a significant upgrade over Johnson’s .727 OPS, LaRoche’s .747 OPS and Franco’s .840 OPS in limited action. I don’t know who that would be, but they’re obtainable.

  40. Honestly, I don’t see how the Chipper-to-first deal is set in stone. If he can’t throw, Mac, he can’t throw. Whether he’s at third or first, he’s not gonna play if he can’t throw. Look at how much Bagwell saps the Astros defense because he can’t throw. Now, he may still be able to throw, but if he needs surgery, that means it’s pretty serious.

  41. God forbid Andruw suffers a wiff relapse and with dunn following him in the lineup we could count on the two of them keeping the atlanta faithful nice and cool next summer.
    Someone tell me how we could get Mench. I know I’m a dreamer.

  42. Mac – as for my idea of marte at first w/ laSuck. I was thinking marte would start more, but with all the right handed pitchers you’d face I guess I was not thinking straight. So, maybe you just tell laroche to pack his bags and resign the aging wonder .

  43. dunn does strike out, but he also walks. i could handle the strike outs as long as he is pulling some walks as well.
    and yes mac, marte would be blocked once again, so i am sure the braves would not pull this deal off.
    anyone think marte could be a 20-30 hr guy next season? that wouldnt be too bad to have him at 3rd if he produces,and move chip to 1st.
    if they just used the pitching talent in the farm system, brought up marte, moved chip to first, cut ties with laroche, ramirez, kolb, estrada, and jordan, would they be able to resign farnsworth and furcal? that seems to free up some $ when you add it together (assuming the payroll is not cut again).
    how much will we be paying hampton next year?

  44. Bagwell hasn’t been able to throw in years. Heck, his arm was shot at least five years ago, if not more. While having a good throwing arm is useful for a first baseman, it’s not necessary. It’s a requirement for a third baseman; it’s practically the definition.

    I haven’t heard that Chipper needs surgery, I’m just extrapolating from Rolen, who also had a labrum tear, kept trying to play through it, and is now finally going under the knife. A lot of people in St. Louis have been talking about flipping Rolen and Pujols defensively.

  45. excuse me, not “we”. i meant to put “the braves”. i, myself will not be paying any of hampton’s salary.

  46. For what its worth, labrum problems are what slowed down Glaus the last few years as well.

  47. I like the idea of the 2year-$14million. He might go for that. If we can move Hampton, problem solved.

  48. To anyone who can answer this question-

    Will the players union allow someone to take a big paycut? For example Chipper Jones, I believe he makes aroung $16 mill a year, but if he wanted to redo his contract could he for a lesser amount
    is he able to do this?

  49. ryan c, I’m all for cutting ties with the guys you mentioned. I think we could definitely bring back farns, but there are also some current guys who are due raises. So, I wonder how much money would still be there for furcal. Even if there was enough, I don’t think we’d offer him enough years. I think we’d be more inclined to spend that extra cash on someone like B. Giles.

  50. csg – I believe that the union is okay w/ restructuring your deal as long as the overall value of the contract doesn’t diminish. For example, if Chipper were to offer to play for $10m next year w/ the other $5m paid out over the next 20 years (or something), I think that would be okay. But he can’t just leave the $5m on the table, which I believe was the hangup in the ARod to the Red Sox ado.

  51. I bet the Yankees would take Hampton off our hands. We might have to take a guy like Tom Gordon or JW back (which would be fine with me)

  52. Rob, Furcal makes 5.6 this year. Went to ESPN.com/stats and sorted by OPS for all OFs
    Cabrera, Ramirez, Guerrero, Dunn, Andruw, Bay,
    Edmonds, Griffey, Giles, Abreu, Berkman, Sheffield. All OPS above 900. obtainable? I know that you threw out 900 OPS as a straw man figure but that number really represents elite level production even at outfielder. Elite level production means elite level salaries.

    I guess that I meant the loss of Furcal’s offense is big considering post allstar stats:
    avg obp slg
    .322 .400 .500
    You are taking a lot for granted that Betemit can put up Furcals season numbers much less his second half numbers. He is a very good player despite his flaws. Its no coincidence that when he is hot the Braves score runs.

    csg, the union will not let a player devalue his contract. But there is nothing that says a player cannot re structure his contract to lessen the annual salary in exchange for another year. In fact Chipper offered to do just that this pre season to assist with the Hudson signing. Not totally altruistic on Chippers part since his contract ends when he is 37 which is typically when a team will part ways with a player even one with Chipper’s stature. For him it means a chance to end his career in Atlanta.

  53. The yanks would probably be the only team who would consider taking hampton. Especially if they don’t make the playoffs. The boss will probably go nuts and start next year with a 300 million dollar payroll. So, Hampton’s salary would be peanuts in that scenario.

  54. The other difference between Bagwell and Chipper is that Chipper temporarily can’t throw due to injury, while Bagwell permanently can’t throw because of arthritic degeneration of the shoulder. When healthy, Chipper’s throwing arm has never been in question — his throws have always been strong and accurate.

  55. Smitty, I think the Yankees have learned from the Kevin Brown experience that taking on a pitcher owed 15 mil per year thats in his 30’s with a bad back might not be a smart thing to do.

  56. I have no doubt Chipper will be a first baseman next year, remember they almost had him there last year after his injury stopped him from playing left field but Derosa wasn’t hitting a lick so he went to 3rd.
    I think you’ll see some kind of left/right rotation with Marte playing 3rd and Betemit short against lefties and Orr getting mixed in against righties. Maybe another prospect comes up and gets in the rotation besides Orr like Pena Jr or Hernandez(who will bring the speed). Furcal is a very valuable player but he is replaceable. But if he tears it up the rest of the season and helps put the Braves in or near the World Series he could return.

  57. Actually, if he tears it up the rest of the season and helps put the Braves in or near the World Series, that puts him even farther outside of our price range.

  58. on the trade estrada homefront in the offseason – I would venture to say that we will keep him. His production is pretty equal with what we are paying him. I would feel a lot more confident with him taking pressure off of McCann as our backstops next year. I doubt Perez is coming back and I don’t think too hightly of Pena.

  59. FLA is up 7 to 0 in the 6th over the Cubs. Garciaparra is playing 3rd today and has already got one error under his belt. This guy is becoming useless..maybe this is just an off year for him or maybe he’s done!

  60. I’m sorry but I find it hard to believe his skills have diminished. It’s just unbelievable how fragile Nomah has become. Kind of reminds you of that movie Unbreakable.

  61. You know, we’re all presuming the Braves won’t want to sign Furcal for more than three years. However, the more I think about it, the more I think the Braves may try to do exactly that, with a heavily backloaded deal.

    consider – the Braves are about to go into three years of picking up the full tab for Hampton’s contract. They claimed they’d budget money over all 6 years for that, but I don’t think anyone still believes that.

    So it may be the case that the only way the Braves really _can_ keep Furcal is to give, say, a 5/$40m deal that’s distributed as, say, 6-6-6-11-11. By the time the $11m years kick in, Hampton and Chipper and Smoltz are likely off the books.

  62. Dealing w/ Thomson. Someone share their ideas about his troubles. Is it a lack of confidence, trouble w/ the finger, or what?????

  63. As for Mike Kelly, here are his minor league numbers:


    Looking at it, he wasn’t too much of a hitter in the minors until he’d repeated them a few times. His best season was his debit season, but thereafter he didn’t top the 800 OPS mark until he was repeating Richmond – and by his third time there he was Vinny-esque. His best minor league seasons came when he was 27 and 33.

  64. I think Thomson’s lost how to grip the ball and is basically trying to relearn it on the fly. He will probably get one more chance to pitch well. After that, rosters expand, and the Braves can call up Davies while Thomson throws on the side. This thing is too close for Thomson to try and find himself.

  65. I think the Braves are going to move Hampton in the off season. If they can then we can keep Furcal and maybe get a left fielder. IF that happens, we have to keep HoHum and our rotation would become


    We might be able to keep Farnsworth too, but i doubt it.

  66. The Braves will not move Hampton. for one thing, MLB.com is reporting that his season is likely over. For another, i believe he has a no-trade clause. For a third, he’s to be paid $15m a year for th enext three years.

    IOW, we’re stuck with him.

  67. How many teams do you know who are interested in acquiring a 15 million dollar a year, 30-something pitcher who missed over half the 2005 season due to injury and just herniated a disc in his back? I think moving Hampton is HIGHLY unlikely. (The only possible exception I see is moving him to the Reds for Griffey, since they desparately need pitching and might be willing to take on salary if they unload Griffey. I don’t even think that’s likely, though.)

    The rotation is, I think, unlikely to include Thomson and likely to include Sosa. Maybe that means HR will also be shipped out.

    And I think finding/keeping a closer should be a priority over finding a left fielder, personally.

  68. Thompson’s problem is obvious, he’s rusty. Not much reason to read anything more into it yet.

  69. The Braves will not offer Furcal more than three years because he is not a franchise-caliber player (neither on or off field). He’s done here because someone will overpay, and it won’t be the Braves. I don’t subscribe to the “Thomson is rusty” theory. As Mac says, I think his injury is preventing him from controlling his pitches like he could previously, and he is struggling to cope. Unfortunately, I think the chances are slim that he gets back to his pre-injury form this season. Hampton is toast, so I think we are looking at a Smoltz-Hudson-Sosa-Ramirez rotation for the playoffs (unless Davies really shines in his September call up). For next season, we better hope that Hampton recovers because he’s not going anywhere.

  70. I like Sosa, but I think he is going to be the set up man next year.

    Wow that SAS/Bayless battle was great. Bayless to go all the way!

  71. Honestly, why don’t we just stick Marte out in left field next year and let him learn on the fly? That’s what we did with Klesko. Sure, it backfired sometimes, but his bat made up for it. And if we’re all so sure Marte is ready, his bat should make up for it, too.

    I haven’t really thought this through completely, yet, so I’m not set on this opinion, or anything…I’d just like to hear what others here think.

  72. I think he would waive that clause for the Yankees

    He didn’t seem to enjoy himself the year he pitched before in NY; do you thinkhe’d be all that enthusiastic and return there to play for the high-pressure NY team? I doubt it.

  73. Thompson’s a free agent in the offseason unless there is an option that I am not aware of, Hampton’s full salary is picked up, the Braves have a shortstop name Yuniel Escobar who was a second round draft pick this year who is physically ready for the bigs, The Yankees aren’t likely to follow the same player acquisition path they have been on, especially since the Boss doesn’t appear to be cognisant of what’s happening anymore, shouldn’t we have heard something weekly from him if he was? Furcal would be a good signing even at Renteria’s contract. I think it will be harder to move LaRoche than we think, but HoRam to Texas for either A. Gonzalez or Mench wouldn’t be bad. Has anyone though of Andrew being traded to Boston, since they probably aren’t resigning the Unfrozen Caveman, and are probably going to trade Manny to the Mets. That would leave Atlanta the room to resign Furcall and trade for Dunn. The only way to move Kolb would probably be to non tender him and take the loss financially to gain the roster spot. Keep Estrada as backup for McCann or the other way around, doesn’t really matter next year. They’ve also got to figure out a way to get Marte to Atlanta to stay. I didn’t think I was going to ramble that much, but I did.

  74. after this week Washington should be out of the running for the wild card.. 1st STL then ATL. !st to worst thata boy Frank

  75. In all fairness, it will be a tremendous accomplishment for the Nats to even get a .500 record this year. I’m certainly hoping they stick around in the wild card race long enough to take some games off our other 3 competitors in the NL East.

  76. Here’s another thought that can be included in the Raffy signing discussion: Who knows if he doesn’t look at the team, recognizes what a bright future these kids represent, then thinks about the manager and the system of success and just says how much $$ do I really need? I’ll take less to stay.

  77. That Yankees guy says some good stuff about Cano, but he’s off the mark on Furcal, and I don’t think most of baseball shares his view. Stuff like this:

    First, some fast facts about Furcal. This year he’s hitting .275/.339/.426. The National League averages this year are .263/.327/.415, so this is not a big deal. From 2002 to 2004 he batted .282/.340/.415, so we’re seeing some consistency here.

    is just too moronic. Those are great numbers for a shortstop in the NL, and they would be spectacular if he were to play second, like he proposes in the article.

    According to ESPN stats, only two SS in the NL this year have better OPS. Lopez and, surprisingly, Bill Hall, who has some power.

  78. Joey, you’re comparing Furcal’s offensive numbers to a pretty weak crop of NL shortstops. The regular shortstops of 6 AL teams have better numbers (Tejada, Peralta, Young, Jeter, Crosby, Guillen). The point that Furcal’s numbers closely match those he posted in 2002-2004, and therefore probably accurately represent his talents, is a valid one.

    Of course, if the Yankees got him they would be best served by putting Jeter at 2B, but if ARod can’t dislodge him, there’s little chance Furcal would be given that chance.

  79. Also I think once Hampton got traded, his no trade clause is no longer in effect.

    Well, since he had to give his okay in order to be traded, I believe he made keeping his no-trade clause intact a condition of accepting the trade to Atlanta.

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