November 07, 2007

The Mets' contingent secretly met with Scott Boras on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of signing Alex Rodriguez, has learned.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox, who appear to be making progress in their attempt to re-sign Mike Lowell, may still consider A-Rod and plan to meet with Boras on Wednesday night.

The Angels and Dodgers are also believed to be involved in the A-Rod derby.

Mets general manager Omar Minaya told Boras in their clandestine meeting that the team planned to monitor the A-Rod situation for now, according to a team official, a position that makes sense for all interested teams, considering no monetary offers are allowed until Monday. Mets people say they have interest in Rodriguez, and have a figure in mind, but don't plan to engage in a bidding war for his services.

Minaya declined comment on the meeting, and as for A-Rod, Minaya repeated his mantra that he's one of the many free agents the Mets are evaluating. Boras also declined to discuss the meeting.

The Angels are generally considered a slight favorite to sign Rodriguez, but the Mets, Red Sox and Dodgers are among other likely pursuers. Angels GM Tony Reagins is on record expressing interest in A-Rod and said Wednesday that Vladimir Guerrero wouldn't balk at another Angels player making more money. Reagins noted that Guerrero has "zero ego.''

While Boston also eyes A-Rod, it is also working hard to try to bring back free agent third baseman Mike Lowell, and Theo Epstein said he was "hopeful'' those talks will conclude with Lowell re-signing. "I'd like to think we're making progress,'' Epstein said.

Should Lowell re-sign,as most expect, A-Rod could possibly be a consideration for shortstop in Boston. "We're not scheduling the meeting to talk specifically about Alex,'' Epstein said. "We're just checking in on a number of [Boras'] players.'' Epstein, though, allowed that "I'm sure [Rodriguez] could come up.''

Meanwhile, Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed reports in Newsday and the New York Post that he would be offering salary arbitration next month to Rodriguez. But Cashman said he had no expectation of Rodriguez accepting that offer, which would tie him to the Yankees for 2008.

Cashman explained that he'll make the offer to win the compensatory draft choices, knowing full well that there's zero chance Rodriguez would accept the offer.

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