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Furcal close to $30M, 3-year deal with Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) - Shortstop Rafael Furcal (fur-KAWL') is close to
accepting a $30 million, three-year offer to return to Atlanta. The
deal would contain an option for 2012 that could become guaranteed.

The 31-year-old Furcal began his major league career playing for
the Braves from 2000-05. He spent the last three seasons with the
Los Angeles Dodgers.

He hit .357 last season with five homers and 16 RBIs but had
back surgery July 3 and was limited to 36 games and 143 at-bats. He
returned to the lineup Sept. 24 and played in four games during the
final week of the season.

Furcal was a fixture at the top of the lineup in his previous
stint with the Braves. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in
2000 and made the 2003 the All-Star team.

After hitting .300 with 15 homers, 63 RBIs and 37 stolen bases
in his first year with the Dodgers, Furcal had ankle and back
injuries the last two seasons.


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