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Friday, January 7, 2005
Updated: January 8, 1:32 PM ET
Astros' GM, owner talk with Boras Thursday

Associated Press

HOUSTON -- 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.

Carlos Beltran
Center Field
Houston Astros
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"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 ET 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.

Beltran, 27, has been seeking a contract in excess of $100 million. Astros owner Drayton McLane spoke with Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, on Saturday morning.

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

Boras wouldn't give an indication of where negotiations stood Friday.

"We're still talking and having a dialogue with all the involved teams," he said.

Asked whether there would be a decision Saturday, Boras' response was just as vague.

"I don't know. It could," he said. "And then again, there's something that may take a while longer."

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 RBI and four steals.