Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Rangers trying to deal Gonzalez to Expos


Notebook: Outfielder may use no-trade clause

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - The Montreal Expos reached agreement Tuesday to acquire two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez from Texas - but his attorney said the Rangers' star "in all likelihood" would reject the trade.

Montreal general manager Omar Minaya, who has a long history with Gonzalez, was to meet with the slugger today in Texas.

Gonzalez has 72 hours to exercise his no-trade clause. His window of decision begins at 10 a.m. today.

The 33-year-old outfielder was not in Texas' lineup Tuesday night at home against Oakland and he declined comment before the game.

"After some thought and reflection, Juan is going to stand by his no-trade clause and reject the trade to Montreal - in all likelihood," attorney Jeff Moorad said at The Ballpark in Arlington.

Moorad added that when Gonzalez signed a two-year contract with the Rangers before the 2002 season, he took less money "because he and his family felt comfortable in Texas."

Minaya could find ways to persuade Gonzalez to take the deal - perhaps cash for accepting or maybe an adjusted contract.

The last-place Rangers were expected to receive prospects if Gonzalez goes to Montreal.

"We have not been officially notified that he turned down the trade," Rangers spokesman John Blake said.

Gonzalez, who missed seven of 11 games before Sunday, is hitting .286 with 18 homers and 50 RBI.

DIAMONDBACKS: Randy Johnson threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery May 1.

Johnson isn't talking to reporters during his rehabilitation, but Arizona Diamondbacks trainer Paul Lessard said the Big Unit threw fastballs and sliders during the 10-minute stint.

"I was impressed. He looked very comfortable," Lessard said. "He said that he felt it now and then. But to watch him and watch his mechanics, he looked very comfortable throwing."

YANKEES: Center fielder Bernie Williams could take batting practice today for the first since undergoing knee surgery last month.

Williams had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee May 27. He could rejoin the team by the All-Star break.

GIANTS: San Francisco right-hander Kurt Ainsworth could be out for the season with a broken right shoulder blade discovered by team doctors Tuesday.




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