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Maddux has pick of lucrative offers

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 15, 2002

NASHVILLE -- Just because teams aren't talking about Greg Maddux doesn't mean the market for the four-time Cy Young Award winner is quiet.

Agent Scott Boras said Saturday there are eight teams seriously interested and the ace right-hander will have his choice of lucrative offers to decide where he wants to play.

"I think if he's in a comfortable place, playing for people he wants to play for and a team that's competitive, I think he's opened his doors into looking into those things," Boras said. The Braves, having lost Tom Glavine, hope to retain him.

"The No. 1 priority right now is to get Maddux back on the team," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.

The Braves have offered arbitration and Maddux has until Thursday to accept. Other interested teams might include the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Angels.

DID YOU HEAR?: The slow free-agent and trade market ground to a halt as the only announced deal was Pittsburgh's hiring of Frank Velasquez as strength and conditioning coordinator.

While there have been plenty of discussions and even more rumors, many officials said the lack of action is because teams are waiting for Expos general manager Omar Minaya to start dealing his top players in an effort to meet MLB-mandated payroll.

"Every general manager I met with today just met with Omar," agent Jeff Moorad said. "There's no doubt that the possibility of Montreal trades have impacted the pace."

Minaya said he felt he probably would make a deal before the meetings end Monday. "There's 20 different potential offers out there; I need to sort out and my staff needs to sort out," he said.

JUNIOR CALLING: With rumors flying, Ken Griffey called Reds general manager Jim Bowden to tell him he didn't want to be traded.

"He called me just to make sure I knew he wasn't disgruntled," Bowden said. "His position is he wants to stay in Cincinnati and finish his career there."

THANKS GUYS: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he had not talked about trading pitcher Rick Reed to the Phillies.

"I've just been slapping high-fives with the Phillies for taking (former Cleveland slugger Jim) Thome out of our division," Gardenhire said.

RUMOR MILL: The Dodgers appear most interested in Fred McGriff. ... The Cubs met with C Ivan Rodriguez's agent. ... The Yankees are close to signing infielder/DH Todd Zeile, possibly freeing up Nick Johnson to be traded. ... Arizona is including Erubiel Durazo in a number of multiple-team deals. ... MLB reportedly told officials in Washington, northern Virginia and Portland that if they are interested in luring the Expos they should express interest by the end of February.

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