3:07pm: There’s a great debate going on in the comments about whether the Twins could swoop in and make an offer to Furcal now that they’ve pulled out of negotiations with Casey Blake. I do wonder if word that the A’s and Furcal couldn’t come to terms precipitated the sudden split between the Twins and Blake. Certainly, Tim saw a good fit between the Twins and Furcal back in October, and Furcal is four years younger than Blake — but still, I think Furcal’s monetary demands are pretty steep. No official Twins-Furcal rumors yet, but if anything comes in in the next couple of hours I’ll update this post again.
As reported here yesterday, after shortstop Furcal rejected the A’s offer of 4 years, $35-40MM, the A’s in turn declined to go any further with Furcal.
2:13pm: Buster Olney says that the market for Rafael Furcal "never really developed; if you were to draw up a list of five players who have been hurt by the economic slowdown, Furcal might be somewhere near the top of the list." Olney breaks down how Furcal’s suitors all ended up looking elsewhere, and says the A’s biggest need is veteran starting pitching. Furcal is "the perfect player for some big-money contender to snag for a big-money, short-term deal, but such an offer may not emerge for some time."
Meanwhile, Athletics Nation agrees that "the only person who believes there is a big market for Rafael Furcal appears to be Furcal" and says A’s GM Billy Beane is now the one holding all the cards in that (apparently bilateral) negotiation.
Chris Haft at MLB.com lists Oakland’s other options at short.