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Beltran receives Houston's final offer



Published: Fri, January 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros said Thursday that they've made their final offer to Carlos Beltran. They'll find out this weekend whether it was enough to keep the All-Star center fielder.

"The offer on the table is our final offer," general manager Tim Purpura said, without indicating whether Houston made a new proposal. "We're not interested in going any higher."

Houston faces a midnight Saturday deadline to re-sign Beltran. After that, under baseball rules the Astros wouldn't be allowed to strike a deal with him until May 1.

Purpura said he and owner Drayton McLane spoke with Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, on Thursday. Purpura said he wasn't sure which way Beltran might be leaning.

"It's impossible to know where we stand in this kind of thing," he said. "We know that we're in the running, though."

Boras would not respond to Purpura's comments.

"Of the teams I'm negotiating with, I have received certain new proposals," he said, without going into specifics.

Other possibilities

The New York Mets, who dispatched a delegation to Puerto Rico to meet with Beltran and Boras on Monday, also are trying to sign Beltran, and the Chicago Cubs also might be involved in the talks. The New York Yankees told Boras they would not focus on Beltran until after finalizing negotiations for an extension with Randy Johnson, a process that was nearing completion.

Boras is seeking a deal worth more than $100 million for the 27-year-old switch-hitter.

Purpura declined to discuss the amount of Houston's proposal.

"We feel it's a good offer," he said. "But to go any further wouldn't be prudent for the future of our organization."

Boras said he had spoken with all the teams involved on Thursday and was continuing to negotiate but said no decision was imminent. He says that while Saturday's deadline with the Astros was a factor, it didn't necessarily mean Beltran would make a decision by then.

Beltran led the Astros within one win of their first World Series last season, batting .417 in the NL championship series with four home runs, five RBIs and four steals.




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