Blue Jays are interested in Furcal

LAS VEGAS – Last we heard from Rafael Furcal, the free-agent shortstop had turned down a four-year offer from the Oakland Athletics amid reduced demand all over and concerns that his back problems could flare up again.

Would he be forced to slink back to the Dodgers and their potential three-year offer? He did say after the season that he wanted to continue to play in L.A.

Or would he scour the fast-drying landscape only to return to the A's $35 million to $40 million proposal, which would result in a significant pay cut from the $13 million a year he made on his last contract. An A's source said the offer is still on the table.

Another suitor has entered the picture, however. The Toronto Blue Jays believe they might be able to swoop in and sign Furcal with money they had earmarked to re-sign pitcher A.J. Burnett, a source said Monday at the winter meetings.

No way Burnett is coming back to Toronto, so upgrading at shortstop, where the light-hitting John McDonald is the incumbent, is an appealing idea to Blue Jays brass. However, it probably would take going a fourth year for Furcal and increasing the overall value of the offer beyond what the A's offered.