The latest on Rafael Furcal: No news is bad news

The Dodgers appear to be at an impasse with representatives for Rafael Furcal. From what I understand, the club is offering a shorter contract at a lower salary than what Furcal is looking for, with a lot of incentives/bonuses based on Furcal’s ability to stay in the lineup — something he wasn’t able to do this year — and stay healthy — something he wasn’t able to do either of the past two seasons. Furcal and his people apparently aren’t interested in an incentive-based contract. They want a four-year guarantee at something in the neighborhood of the $13 million average annual value Furcal had on his just-expired contract with the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ reason for not offering Furcal arbitration is fairly simple. Players are guaranteed to take no more than a 20-percent pay cut in arbitration, which means that if Furcal had accepted (something Dodgers officials felt there was at least some chance he would do), he would have been guaranteed at least $10.4 million in 2009 (he made $13 million in 2008). But that 20-percent paycut limit is really kind of a joke, because players ALMOST ALWAYS increase their salary through aribtration no matter what kind of year they had. That means had the Dodgers offered Furcal arbitration and had he accepted, they probably could have expected to pay him AT LEAST $15 million in 2009. And that’s on top of the $4 million in deferred money they already have to pay him next month as part of his previous contract. …

The lunch between Dodgers’ and City of Glendale public-relations reps earlier today had been scheduled far in advance and had nothing to do with naming rights, a largely political controversy that will have little impact on the baseball side of things. As one Dodgers official I spoke with rightly pointed out, none of this really means anything other than semantics. Oh, and one thing I said in my previous post apparently is wrong. Camelback Road is NOT the boundary between Glendale and Phoenix, at least not in the part of town where the complex will be. The complex is actually IN Phoenix, but on land OWNED BY the City of Glendale. Got a headache yet? Good thing I still have two months to figure out what dateline to use.

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