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Thursday, December 18, 2008
Offer, acceptance, considerationRafael Furcal's head fake to Atlanta and re-signing with the Dodgers has, quite predictably, inspired some ire on the part of Braves' management:
“From our perspective, we reached an agreement Monday night,” Braves General Manager Frank Wren said. “They asked for a term sheet for us to sign on Tuesday morning, and we sent over the signed termed sheet” . . .
Attention first year law students: you now know what will be on your Contracts exam. Given this head start, I expect all of you to ace it.
As for the specifics of all of this, I have no idea what really went down, but I have this feeling it would have been a far less humiliating experience for the Braves if people from their front office didn't spend all day Tuesday talking about the deal to the media.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 10:43am
I swore I wouldn’t think about Contracts again until after Christmas, but of course this is what was running through my head last night as I went to bed last night. My analysis was (1) I’m sure MLB’s collective bargaining agreement has provisions that alter traditional contract formation; and (2) since this contract is incapable of being performed within a year it is subject to the statute of frauds and therefore an oral agreement is invalid.
Either way, I’m guessing the Braves have no right to a remedy besides calling Furcal and his agents mean names.
Did I pass, Prof?
Posted 12/18 at 12:10 PM
It just makes me wonder about Furcal. Did he let his agents run everything? Did he have a say in this other than “I want to play for either the Dodgers or the Braves, so get me the best deal from either of them”? Again, we don’t know everything that happened, but it seems a bit shadier than most deals. As for talking about it a day early, most teams still talk about their deals before they become “official”, but it doesn’t end up working out this way. Look at the Ibanez deal. Nothing was official for like four days, but we knew about it. It’s just a shame this happened.
Posted 12/18 at 12:37 PM
Sorry, but there is no acceptance. Furcal cannot be the offeror. How can he offer a contract of employment to play for the Braves? That makes no sense. Even the law professor who will not entertain the words “public policy argument” would have to acknowledge that only the Braves can offer the opportunity to a person to play for the Braves.
In any case, there were negotiations. He or his agent subsequently asked for an offer. He received the offer. He did not accept it.
Posted 12/18 at 01:07 PM
I’m going to go with, “Prove it.” and “Is this a fight you want to start?” as my answers.
Posted 12/18 at 02:17 PM
I’m sure that his agents advised him to go back to the Dodgers, see if he could get more, and if he could to take it, since in 4 years he’ll be 35 and would likely command a better presumably final contract as a SS, the Braves were talking about moving him off of SS, and he likely has a better chance of winning a division and playing on a playoff stage by staying with the Dodgers, given the relative weakness of the division compared to the East. For all of these reasons, I think his agents convinced him that for his longer term personal gain, he was better off trying to play the Braves and Dodgers against each other, and the offers being equal, choosing the Dodgers. And yes, a great deal of the egg on Frank Wren’s face is down to them leaking the deal before it was done.
Posted 12/18 at 03:52 PM
This is evidently just Rafael Furcal’s nature. He done basically the same thing to the Braves 3 years ago when he first went into free agency. The Braves advised him to go and look for offers, then let them know about them and they would advise him if they would match it. 3 years ago they would have matched the Dodgers offer, but Raffy and his agent never told them about it. The Dodgers got the offer to counter, and countered with exactly what was on Frank Wren term sheet that he sent over to Kinzer on Tuesday. That, in my perspective, seems a bit shady. Yea, match it if you want, beat it if you want, but don’t copy the terms exactly as the Braves had laid out. The fact is, Raffy nor his agent will receive a penny more from the deal the Dodgers gave because it was the EXACT deal Wren thought up.
Posted 12/18 at 08:03 PM