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Monday, November 17, 2003
A-Rod on his choices: 'Doors open'

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez became the second player from a last-place team to win a Most Valuable Player award, then confirmed that the Texas Rangers have approached him about a possible trade.

"Management has approached me with a situation and some choices, and I'm just going to keep my doors open right now," Rodriguez said Monday from Mexico during a telephone conference call.

Rodriguez received 242 points for the American League award in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Toronto first baseman Carlos Delgado was second with 210 points, followed by New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada with 194.

Rodriguez has completed three seasons of a $252 million, 10-year contract, the richest in baseball history. He has been paid $53.5 million and gets another $500,000 on Dec. 1. He also is owed $12 million plus interest in deferred payments from the contract's first three seasons.

Rodriguez said he thought there had been talks about a possible trade with "three of four teams" but didn't elaborate.

Regarding a possible trade, Texas general manager John Hart said, "We've made it very clear that we think Alex is going to be here. At the same time, we're not going to turn the phones off."

Hart said Hicks and Rodriguez had a conversation early in the offseason to get A-Rod's feedback.

"Alex and the club both agreed we weren't looking to trade, but if we were contacted regarding the possibility of a deal, Alex basically said he'd keep his options open," Hart said.

"We had some conversations with some clubs early on in the winter, but none the last several weeks," he said. "I don't see much opportunity on the trade front."

While Rodriguez praised Texas owner Tom Hicks, he refused comment several times when asked about his relationship with Hart and manager Buck Showalter.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday that Rodriguez hasn't returned Showalter's telephone calls and was angered by the firing of a clubhouse attendant.

"I don't get an immediate callback from everybody, and they don't always from me," Showalter said on a conference call. "I don't take it personal."

Rodriguez, who has the right to veto trades, said that after he was approached by the team about a possible trade, he thought about it for a few days, then gave the team "flexibility" to discuss a deal.

He realizes it would be difficult to trade such a large contract.

"I'll probably end up being the shortstop for the Texas Rangers this year, and that's fine with me," Rodriguez said.