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Wright says A-Rod never mentioned in talk with Minaya

NEW YORK -- David Wright already started his offseason
workouts -- and, yes, they're at third base.

"I don't own any other gloves,'' the New York Mets star said
with a smile Monday.

Wright recently had his chat with general manager Omar Minaya
and is preparing to stay put at third next season -- whether or not
the Mets try to sign Alex Rodriguez.

"When I spoke to Omar,'' Wright said, "he told me, `Be
prepared to be the third baseman in 2008. That's what I took from
it and that's the way I'm going about it.

"Alex Rodriguez's name did not come up at any point.''

Wright, who won his first Gold Glove last week, had said he
would like to speak with Mets management to gauge whether the team
might want him to consider switching positions.

Minaya obliged, and Wright appreciated the gesture, calling it a
"courtesy.''

"I think it got kind of twisted the wrong way. By no way, shape
or form do they have to go through me about anything,'' Wright
said. "Those guys are the bosses. I just go out and play the game.

"I don't keep in touch with the front office, nor should they
feel obligated at all to let any of the players know what's going
on,'' he added. "I think it's good to have that separation there.
But as a fan and, obviously, as part of the team, I'm interested.''

One of the game's brightest young stars, the 24-year-old Wright
batted .325 with 30 home runs, 107 RBIs and 34 stolen bases this
year, his third full season in the majors. His .416 on-base
percentage ranked fifth in the NL.

Wright also won a Gold Glove despite committing 21 errors.
Still, the Mets are thought to be interested in Rodriguez, the
free-agent prize who played the past four seasons at third base for
the Yankees.

With their own lucrative regional sports network and a new
ballpark on the way in 2009, the Mets are one of the few major
league clubs that probably could meet A-Rod's price tag without
emptying the piggy bank. But if they lure Rodriguez across town,
where does that leave Wright?

A-Rod, of course, was a Gold Glove shortstop before switching to
third base when he was traded from Texas to the Yankees. The Mets,
however, have another young All-Star at shortstop in speedy
Jose Reyes.

The Mets do have an opening at second base, but Wright has never
played there.

"If shortstop opens up, I played shortstop in high school,'' he
said.

Minaya has been guarded about the team's potential interest in
Rodriguez, who hit .314 with 54 homers and 156 RBIs this season and
is likely to win his third AL MVP award next week.

The Mets have other issues to deal with this offseason as well.
For one, they need a starting catcher after Wright's buddy,
Paul Lo Duca, filed for free agency.

"I have zero sense about Paul,'' Wright said. "I haven't
talked to him in a couple weeks.''

New York also is waiting to hear whether Tom Glavine wants to
return, retire or pitch for his hometown Atlanta Braves.

"If he wants to go back to Atlanta, we'll try our best to beat
him up,'' Wright said, adding he hopes Glavine will stay with the
Mets. "I think every team, not only us, needs pitching.''

Wright visited kids at NYU Medical Center on Monday, and his
foundation will host its third annual "Do the Wright Thing'' gala
Thursday night.

The two-time All-Star said most fans have been supportive this
offseason, even though the Mets collapsed in September and missed
the playoffs.

"You'll get a few people every now and then that come up and
will throw in what we did wrong or what they think we did wrong.
But we knew that we didn't get the job done,'' Wright said. "We
have to accept responsibility for that. We didn't expect all
offseason to go around and nobody say anything and pat us on the
back and say it's all right.

"It's tough to say we'll get 'em next year because we had an
opportunity to get it done this year,'' he added.