The A's and Rafael Furcal will go their separate ways, according to a report this morning by Foxsports.com.

The team offered the free-agent shortstop a four-year deal worth between $35-40 million, the report said, and Furcal rejected it. His agent, Paul Kinzer, didn't completely close the door on re-visiting negotiations, he was quoted as saying he hopes to chat more with the A's and other teams at the winter meetings, which begin Monday in Las Vegas.

But the A's have some free-agent money to spend and other positions where they can use help. So, as it stands, Bobby Crosby is likely to remain their starting shortstop for 2009.

With Furcal out of the picture, Orlando Cabrera would be the other marquee shortstop available in free agency - if Cabrera declines the arbitration offer extended by the Chicago White Sox. But Cabrera is a "Type A" free agent, meaning the A's would forfeit a second-round draft pick to the Sox if they signed Cabrera, and the A's value their high picks.

The A's can use another impact bat in their lineup, and a corner infielder with pop ranks high on their list of needs. But it's very possible they start adjusting their free-agent focus on pitching, as their rotation lacks a veteran presence beyond Justin Duchscherer.

One of Randy Johnson's agents confirmed that the A's have shown interest in the Big Unit, and it's not out of the question Oakland could look to upgrade its bullpen.



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