Manager, GM confirm they will listen

Updated: November 12, 2003, 10:07 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers are willing to field trade offers for star shortstop Alex Rodriguez, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

"It would be less than honest for me to say we're not listening," Rangers manager Buck Showalter told the newspaper. "If people call you about a player, even if it's a player you love the way we love Alex, you have to at least listen."

Especially because Rodriguez costs the Rangers so much.

He has seven years and $179 million remaining on the record $252 million contract he signed with Texas before the 2001 season. He also has a no-trade clause, which he would have to waive before any potential deal could be completed.

Rodriguez, 28, might agree to that for a chance to win soon. The Rangers have finished last in the AL West for four straight seasons.

At the general managers' meeting in Phoenix, Texas GM John Hart made it clear that his team is not trying to move Rodriguez and said the possibility of a deal was a long shot, The Times reported.

"He's our cornerstone player," Hart told the newspaper. "But if the phone rings in this business, you pick up the phone and listen."

Rodriguez suggested in late July that he would be willing to accept a trade if the team doesn't improve, but later changed his tone.

"The optimism is obvious. I hope that this winter we get a few small pieces and keep going," Rodriguez said at the end of the season. "We don't need a miracle. We don't need a total facelift."

Perhaps the best all-around player in baseball, Rodriguez hit .298 with 47 home runs and 118 RBIs last season and won a Gold Glove for his defensive excellence. He's had at least 41 homers and 111 RBIs each of the past six years.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press