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Beltran slow in mulling over Astros contract offer



Published: Sat, January 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW YORK (AP) -- Carlos Beltran waited until the final hours Saturday night before telling the Houston Astros whether he would re-sign.

New York Mets officials also awaited an indication from the 27-year-old center fielder. While he faced a midnight deadline to re-sign with Houston because he finished the season with the Astros and became a free agent, the deadline doesn't apply to any talks he might have with the other 29 major league teams.

Astros owner Drayton McLane spoke with Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, on Saturday morning. Beltran has been seeking a contract in excess of $100 million.

After midnight, the Astros would not be able to re-sign Beltran until May 1.

"There's been no new developments," Astros spokesman Jimmy Stanton said during the afternoon. "There's nothing new to report. ... It'll be a long day."

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said he couldn't discuss the situation, and with 5 1/2 hours left before the deadline for the Astros, Boras said no decisions had been made.

Other signings

Ruben Sierra, also facing the deadline, decided to remain with the New York Yankees, agreeing to a $1.5 million, one-year contract. Backup first baseman Dave McCarty agreed to stay with the Boston Red Sox, agreeing to a minor league deal that would pay him $550,000 if he is added to the major league roster.

Pedro Astacio and the Red Sox didn't plan to continue negotiations Saturday night. Catcher Brent Mayne and the Los Angeles Dodgers also faced the deadline.

While talking with Beltran, the Mets agreed to a one-year contract with South Korean left-hander Dae Sung Koo, who pitched in the 2000 Olympics and spent the last four years with the Orix BlueWave in Japan's Pacific League.

Among players eligible for salary arbitration, Texas catcher Rod Barajas agreed to a $1.85 million, one-year deal.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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