Longtime baseball agent Arn Tellem, who heads the baseball agents at the Wasserman Media Group, responded by e-mail to Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren's comments to SI.com regarding the Braves' distrust of that agency and intention never to do business with them again. Wren and the Braves believe the agency reneged on shortstop Rafael Furcal's agreement to play for the Braves, and Tellem responded by saying "there was never an agreement" in his seven-point e-mail, and ending by saying that they would continue to try to work with the Braves and suggesting it's the Braves' obligation to consider their clients.
Tellem may also have read the comments of Braves president John Schuerholz, one of the best GMs in the past few decades, who told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the agency's actions were "disgusting, "despicable," and "unprofessional," in forming his lengthy response.
Here is Tellem's complete response:
"With regard to the negotiations between the Atlanta Braves and Rafael Furcal, the essential facts are clear and cannot be disputed.
1. "There was never an agreement reached between Rafael Furcal and the Atlanta Braves.
2. "In fact, the Braves were fully aware that Furcal was not prepared to make a decision but had requested an opportunity to sleep on it, before deciding.
3. "Moreover, the baseball rules which all agents and teams operate under are clear that no deal exists between a player and a team unless and until: (i) there is a signed and executed player agreement or; (ii) the Player's Union and the Commissioner's office have otherwise confirmed the deal. Neither occurred here.
4. "Furcal ultimately decided to accept the Dodgers' offer, taking into consideration a number of factors, the most important of which was his desire to continue playing shortstop and not make the position change to second base that the Braves were requiring.
5. "Losing out on an All-Star player like Furcal is always disappointing, and we understand the Braves' frustration with the outcome of this negotiation, but it does not change in any way the fact that we conducted ourselves with integrity and complied with all rules of major league baseball throughout this process.
6. "Our primary obligation is to serve our clients best interests, and we will continue to do so in accordance with all relevant rules governing MLB negotiations and the utmost integrity.
7. "If it serves our clients, we will continue to present opportunities to the Braves, which in accordance with the rules governing Major League Baseball, the Braves must entertain. We hope that once emotions have subsided, the Braves will act in a manner consistent with not only their obligations under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and The National Labor Relations Act, but also the best interests of the franchise. In short, we would not want this incident to color their better judgment."