Sunday, December 7, 2003

Sources say A-Rod, Red Sox set to meet


Baseball notebook: Selig is said to have OK'd talks

Enquirer news services

In a breakthrough that could hasten a historic swap of baseball's only $20 million-a-year superstars, Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry has scheduled a high-stakes meeting this week with Alex Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras, about restructuring the MVP shortstop's extravagant contract to clear the way for a trade involving Manny Ramirez, industry sources told the Boston Globe Saturday.

Henry and Rodriguez recently held at least a preliminary discussion after the Sox received permission from commissioner Bud Selig to waive a rule prohibiting teams from discussing business with players under contract, according to a highly placed baseball official. The Rangers, who are eager to move the $179 million balance of Rodriguez's record $252 million contract through 2010, also signed off on the highly unusual talks.

One source said Henry and Rodriguez met for as long as six hours, a sure sign both sides are eager to complete the blockbuster deal. However, Texas owner Tom Hicks, who also met recently in California with Sox president Larry Lucchino, described the session involving Henry and Rodriguez as little more than a courtesy meeting.

METS: The New York Mets spent Saturday awaiting an answer from Kazuo Matsui on whether he'll accept the team's offer of a three-year contract for about $20 million, a source told the Associated Press.

While the Mets thought they were on the verge of an agreement based on conversations with the shortstop's agent, Matsui hadn't signed off on the deal, a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations said Saturday.

PADRES: Rod Beck will be back in 2004, this time as Trevor Hoffman's setup man, after agreeing Saturday to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $1.85 million.

The 35-year-old Beck had considered an offer to become Colorado's closer. Beck's deal calls for a $1.75 million salary next season with a club option for the same amount in 2005, or a $100,000 buyout.

"Having two bona fide closers on our club will be a real plus," general manager Kevin Towers said.

San Diego signed Beck from the minor leagues on June 2 to help stabilize the last-place team's struggling bullpen. He responded by converting all 20 save chances to pull within 14 of his goal of 300.

MARLINS: Outfielder Gerald Williams agreed to a minor league contract Saturday. If Williams makes the major league roster, he would get a $325,000, one-year contract.




PREP SPORTS
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Lots of talent returns for Highlands in '04
New season, new goals for victorious Oak Hills
Deer Park romps way to a 2-0 start
Winton Woods, CHCA run away with easy victories
Groeschen: High school insider
Ernst: Ky. high school insider
Prep sports results, schedules

BENGALS / NFL
Winning changes everything
Daugherty: Winners get the spoils
Bengal believers don stripes again
Bengals-Ravens: The edge
What would a Bengals win mean?
Couch preparing for football away from Cleveland
It's rare for Bay teams to miss playoffs
Curnutte's NFL power rankings

REDS / BASEBALL
Will real players please stand up for Miley in '04?
Sources say A-Rod, Red Sox set to meet

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
K-State rocks No. 1 Oklahoma
Bowl games schedule
Miami RedHawks extend coach's contract
Mount Union wins 54th straight
Ground game comes up big as Navy knocks Army to 0-13

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Defense rescues UK's offense
Big men remain questions for XU
Women: Xavier 72, Central Michigan 35
Women: UC 62, Dayton 40
Miami's offense is absent in defeat
Kansas not No. 1 for long
Lewin's last-minute basket sends NKU to win

PAGE TWO HEADLINES
A vision for Cleveland
MSJ's Patterson a blessing for Grace
Page Two power rankings
Sports digest

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