Dodgers still talking with Furcal

Dodgers still talking with Furcal

LOS ANGELES -- Despite a flurry of rumors that Rafael Furcal had agreed to a contract with the Atlanta Braves, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he's been told by the shortstop's agent that the Dodgers are still under consideration.

"We're still in conversations with them," Colletti said Tuesday. "There's a certain level we're not going past. We aren't aware of other deals."

Even if Colletti sweetened the offer Tuesday, he's been clear that he won't guarantee more than two years to Furcal, who missed five months this year with a back injury that needed surgery. Furcal is seeking a four-year deal, but Colletti won't give him that coming off an injury after giving him a three-year deal when he was healthy. The Dodgers are believed willing to include a third year that would be guaranteed if he stays healthy for the first two.

"I don't have a feel for whether to be optimistic or not," Colletti said. "I just know we're still talking. They assured us it's not a done deal."

In previous offseasons, Colletti has aggressively moved to fill holes. This winter, he's practiced patience. One reason is a growing confidence in his young corps of players. But ownership also has sounded warnings about the potential for the nation's recession to impact revenues.

The Furcal negotiations have been odd. He supposedly rejected a four-year deal from Oakland after narrowing the finalists to the A's, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Royals. The Braves, his original team, jumped in late. Furcal is believed hesitant to change leagues. reported late Monday night that Furcal had agreed to a three-year deal with the Braves, but his agent told that's not true.

Hot Stove

"We're still talking," Paul Kinzer said. "We haven't signed anything or come to an agreement. I told Furcal [Monday night] to sleep on it. I didn't want him to make an emotional decision."

Colletti said he's been focused the past few days on resolving Furcal and lining up fallback positions, not only via free agency but also by trade. After Furcal, Orlando Cabrera is the biggest-name free-agent shortstop. Among trade candidates are Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson and Houston's Miguel Tejada.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.