“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.