10:42pm: The fourth team is the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal. Kinzer told Rosenthal the Braves are "in deep" and Furcal is seriously considering their offer. Rosenthal believes it's a three-year offer with a vesting option. Rosenthal spoke to an exec who felt the same as Joel Sherman, that Furcal does not want to sign with the A's.
Adding Furcal would give the Braves a middle infield surplus. Good shortstops are hard to find and the Braves would have two.
4:40pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown talked to Furcal's agent Paul Kinzer, who said his client will sign by Tuesday. He's mulling offers from the Dodgers, Royals, A's, and...a mystery team.
1:32pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Blue Jays have dropped out of the bidding for Furcal (now confirmed by Furcal's agent). Sherman adds that Furcal prefers the A's the least but they are offering the most money.
1:10pm: ESPN's Buster Olney says the A's offered four years and $40MM, up about $4MM from their previous offer.
8:10am: According to Ken Rosenthal, the A's appear to be the frontrunners for free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal. Joel Sherman said the same on Friday. Rosenthal says the A's have upped their initial four-year offer to Furcal, and it appears to be the only four-year proposal on the table. Yahoo's Jeff Passan suggested on Wednesday that the Royals believe it will take four years and $44MM to sign him. The A's were reportedly in the $35-40MM range previously.
The Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Royals were identified as other finalists last week by Furcal's agent. Those teams all have issues coming up with the money or years Furcal desires. Rosenthal suggests Orlando Cabrera, Angel Berroa, and Jack Wilson as possible alternatives for the Dodgers.
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