NY Mets won’t bid on A-Rod

  • LARRY LaRUE / The News Tribune
  • Friday, December 8, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports


The News Tribune

DALLAS – Minutes after agent Scott Boras insisted on Friday that there were eight teams pushing hard to land free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez, New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips said his team wasn’t one of them – and wouldn’t be.

Asked whether the Mets were among A-Rod’s suitors, Boras told an impromptu news conference that he’d “hold the door open” for their re-entry into the bidding.

Phillips’ response was terse: “We’re out and we won’t be back in.”

Not even if Boras called to say Rodriguez, the top player on the free agent market, wanted to be a Met?

“We’re out of it, period,” Phillips said. “We’re going after pitching.”

Whatever Boras’ list of eight teams consists of, apparently the Mets, Rockies and Dodgers aren’t on it.

Prior to the start of baseball’s winter meetings on Friday, Rodriguez had met with Seattle, Texas, Colorado and Atlanta. Los Angeles and the Chicago White Sox are also believed to be interested.

One Los Angeles executive said at the winter meetings Friday that the team wouldn’t bid for the shortstop, and a Rockies official said Colorado never got the feeling A-Rod was seriously interested in them.

“When he visited Denver it was like he couldn’t have cared less,” the Rockies official said. “Everybody noticed. We’re not in this thing.”

The Seattle Mariners, however, are, and GM Pat Gillick said he and Boras would meet again this weekend. Late Friday evening Boras met again with Texas Rangers GM Doug Melvin.

“No progress,” Melvin said, “but we’ll meet again. We’re still in the equation.”

To listen to Boras, it sounds as if A-Rod is no closer to a decision today than he was the day he walked out of the Mariners clubhouse in October.

“We haven’t eliminated anyone, we haven’t begun the decision process,” Boras said. “We’ve been gathering information. Now we’re going to begin the second round of meetings, then the third.

“I don’t build clubs, I can’t tell them what to do. I can tell the direction they have to go if they want Alex, and then they make the decision. That’s how the process works. It’s too early in the process to project a front-runner.”

Still, Boras said, Rodriguez could sign with someone before the winter meetings end.

“Monday is a possibility. We’ve had quite a few offers, now we’re going to begin negotiating,” Boras said.

“You can’t compare Alex to anyone else. Our game has not seen a player like this as a free agent. He hits like a slugger – a great slugger – and is athletic enough to play a difficult position superbly.”

Rodriguez hit .316 with 41 homers and 132 RBI last season for Seattle. He also committed only 10 errors in 148 games at shortstop.

“There aren’t comparable players,” Boras said. “You want to compare Alex, you have to go back in baseball history.”

And Rodriguez expects to be paid like nobody else, Boras has often said. Paid higher than free agent pitcher Mike Hampton? The left-handed former Mariner bolted from the Mets to Colorado Friday for the largest contract in major league history, an eight-year deal worth $121 million if he passes a physical.

That figure may pale in comparison to what Rodriguez will get.

“Hampton has set the ceiling for starting pitchers,” Boras said. “But Hampton’s signing doesn’t impact Alex Rodriguez at all. That ceiling hasn’t been set yet.”

Rodriguez could wind up with a deal worth $200 million or more for 10 years – further driving up baseball’s salary structure.

  • Trade winds? Seattle has five veteran outfielders on its roster: Ichiro Suzuki, Mike Cameron, Al Martin, Jay Buhner and Stan Javier. Manager Lou Piniella said it won’t be easy getting all of them at-bats and playing time. GM Pat Gillick might have an answer to that: All five may not be with the team by the time spring training begins. Could something along those lines happen here in Dallas? “It could happen,” Gillick said. If the Mariners move an outfielder, it figures to be Martin or Javier.
    Talk to us

    > Give us your news tips.

    > Send us a letter to the editor.

    > More Herald contact information.

  • More in Sports

    Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje wins the Boys 200M 4A dash during the Class 4A, 3A, 2A track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    State track: Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje claims 200 gold

    Ganje, Everett jumper Shukurani Ndayiragije each take home three top-three medals.

    The Jackson softball team poses with the Class 4A state tournament trophy after a 10-1 triumph over Emerald Ridge Saturday, May 25 at Columbia Playfield in Richland, WA. (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
    Domination: Jackson repeats as 4A state softball champion

    The Yanina Sherwood-led Timberwolves top Emerald Ridge 10-1 in the title game.

    Snohomish’s Hannah Siegler becomes emotional after striking out in the final inning of the 3A state softball championship game against Auburn Riverside on Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Snohomish softball falls in 3A state championship game

    The Panthers lose 11-6 to Auburn Riverside, marking their second straight championship-game defeat.

    State roundup: Murphy’s Balen, Jackson boys win tennis titles

    Grace Academy’s Pearce Hess sweeps the sprints in the Class 1B boys track and field meet.

    Snohomish players move their teamname up the bracket after a 3A softball game between Snohomish and Seattle Prep at the regional athletic complex in Lacey, Washington on Friday, May 24, 2024. Snohomish won, 8-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    Snohomish softball advances to state semifinals

    Abby Edwards’ pitching, Camryn Sage’s hitting lifts Snohomish to an 8-0 quarterfinal win over Seattle Prep.

    The Jackson softball team greets Yanina Sherwood after her sixth-inning, two-run homer put Jackson ahead 4-1 a Class 4A state playoff first-round game May 24 at Columbia Playfields in Richland, WA (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
    Jackson softball halfway to defending its state championship

    The Timberwolves beat Eastmont, Olympia to move into the Class 4A semifinals.

    Lake Stevens’ Brown, Pilchuck’s Velasquez win state titles

    How did locals fare at state in track and field, baseball and tennis? Find out here.

    Mariners report card: ‘A lot of positives’ at 50-game mark

    Does Seattle have enough to maintain its lead in the AL West through the rest of the season?

    Snohomish players celebrate beating Garfield in the 3A state softball semifinal game to advance to the championship on Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Snohomish beats Garfield to advance to state championship

    The Panthers punch their ticket to the state championship game with a 9-8 win over Garfield.

    Cascade’s Mia Walker, right, cries and hugs teammate Allison Gehrig after beating Gig Harbor on Thursday, May 23, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Seniors Wilson, Tripp power Cascade softball past Gig Harbor

    The pair combined for three homers as the Bruins won the Class 3A state softball opening-round game.

    Everett’s Ndayiragije claims Class 3A boys high jump title

    The favorite cleared 6-8 to highlight locals on day one of the track and field championships.

    Jacob Rohde surveys the area at Everett Golf & Country Club during last year’s final round of the Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament. The three-time champion is among this year’s favorites. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    It’s out with the old, in with the new at the County Am

    The 93rd Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament takes place Saturday through Monday.

    Support local journalism

    If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.