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A-Rod Stalls Negotiates

Seattle Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who already has declared he won't sign a contract extension with his new team if he is traded, will not negotiate with the Mariners until after next season, his agent said.

"We are not going to talk about money or a contract until after 2000. That's clear. He just wants to see how the team plays, given a full winter," to improve its roster, said Scott Boras, who met with Rodriguez in Miami last weekend.

However, Team president Chuck Armstrong said Boras' comments wouldn't prevent him from trying to meet with Rodriguez and the agent in Miami next month.

"I'm looking right past that," Armstrong said. "We look forward to sitting down with them and discussing it."

Rodriguez, 24, a three time all-star who hit .285 with 42 home runs and 111 RBI last season, makes $4 million next year the last of a four-year, $10.5 million deal. The Mariners are offering him an eight-year contract worth more than $15 million per year.

The Mariners had requested a response to their offer by a specific date, believed to be mid-November. Rodriguez has said he wants proof the team will make the moves necessary to become a contender, after two years of struggling to play .500 ball.

Center fielder Ken Griffey Junior's contract also runs out at the end of next season. But Griffey, unlike Rodriguez, has enough major league service to veto a trade. Rodriguez emphasized Tuesday he wasn't interested in being traded.

"When you sign a four-year deal, you don't want to be there three years or three-and-a-half years. The ball's in their court, and they have to do what they please, but I want to be a Mariner," he said.

Armstrong and other team officials plan to meet with Griffey in November to discuss the team's eight-year offer to him of about $135 million an average of nearly $17 million per year.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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