Yes, Rafael Furcal is gone. So the saga officially ends and the A's are left with...well, Bobby Crosby and this:
|2008 - Bobby Crosby||145||556||66||132||39||1||7||61||47||96||7||3||.237||.296||.349|
Yeah, a shortstop with an OBP under .300 who didn't really show any of the power he had a rookie, is average defensively and is likely not inspired to perform for a team that has openly been trying to replace him.
Clearly Rafael Furcal never wanted to sign with the Oakland Athletics. The A's basically offered him the most money and the most guaranteed years and he still refused to sign. I'm done talking about Furcal. He's moving on and I'm moving on. I don't begrudge him, I mean it's refreshing to see a guy turn down the most money and guaranteed years to be in a place he loves and still owns a home. I would say that if someone had chosen to come to the A's for less money and have said it in the past.
The A's have very few options at this point other than relying on Crosby or Pennington. Orlando Cabrera isn't worth signing and giving up the draft pick. The younger shortstops everyone else has discussed would likely cost too much in a deal. I suppose the A's could go for someone like Miguel Tejada, but I wouldn't give up much for him. Hell the A's could bring back Tejada, sign Giambi and sign Mulder to a minor league tryout deal. We can pretend it's 2001 all over again. The only way the A's are going to overcome their hole at shortstop is to have above average production in nearly every other spot. And with Ryan Sweeney in center now, Travis Buck or Cunningham in right, a question mark at third with the health of Chavez and possibly Daric Barton still manning first base as of right now, the A's probably are relying on a lot of young guys to perform. Matt Holliday must be wondering what he's in for in 2009 right now.
Yet I've always thought that Beane has been at his best when he's been had to be creative. If the A's really do want to compete in 09, Beane will have to be his most creative whether that means signing someone like Burrell now to take one of the question mark outfield spots and moving one of the kids in a package deal for a shortstop or figuring out something else (signing Orlando Hudson to play second and moving Ellis, a former shortstop in college to short?). I honestly don't think Furcal would've signed here no matter how high Beane had gone and I think Billy was more than reasonable with him.
So now we wait to see if Beane is willing to enter another season with Bobby Crosby as shortstop for our green and gold or if he has enough urgency and desperation to get rid of Crosby by doing something out of character like signing Cabrera or trading one of his stud young pitchers for a shortstop.
But one thing is for sure, I'm so done talking about Rafael Furcal.