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Rangers deny deal; D'backs, Yanks won't deal yet

PHOENIX -- Alex Rodriguez is not on the trading block. And
any deal to send Curt Schilling to New York probably won't happen
this week -- even after the Arizona ace agreed to speak directly to
the Yankees.

But the Milwaukee Brewers could be close to trading star first
baseman Richie Sexson, with the Arizona Diamondbacks the most
likely destination.

Those were the developments out of Day 3 of baseball's general
managers' meeting on Wednesday.

An uncharacteristic daylong Arizona downpour kept the GMs
indoors, with little else to do but talk to each other.

None of those discussions involved Rodriguez, said Texas Rangers
general manager John Hart, who did his best to shoot down trade
rumors involving his superstar shortstop.

"I think we've got the best player in the game. We love him. We
have no interest in dealing Alex Rodriguez," Hart said. "We're
not having any conversations with any team about Alex Rodriguez. If
anybody were to call, of course we'd listen, but we're not
interested in any way, shape or form in trading Alex Rodriguez."

Even if Rodriguez could be traded, few teams could afford the
seven years and $179 million remaining on his contract.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he did not expect his
team to make any deals this week -- for Schilling or anyone else.

"No news," Cashman said, "just talking, gathering
information."

Next month's winter meetings in New Orleans would be "a more
realistic time" for any trade, Cashman said.

Schilling did not return a telephone message, but he told the
East Valley Tribune of Mesa he had agreed to the Diamondbacks'
request that he talk to the Yankees.

"It's something I thought about for a while," Schilling said.
"I went back to them and said 'yes.' "

Diamondbacks managing general partner Jerry Colangelo said that
Schilling is willing to listen to proposed deals. The right-hander
has a no-trade clause in his contract. He will earn $12 million
next year, half of it deferred, and becomes a free agent at the end
of the season.

The Diamondbacks are cutting payroll and would not be able to
resign him, so a trade is a possibility.

"That's where we are," Colangelo said. "Everything else is
too premature."

Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin, under orders to cut
payroll to the $30 million range, said it was possible his team
would make a deal before the GM meetings wrap up on Friday. Sexson
will earn $8.6 million next season, and Geoff Jenkins $8.25
million, so it appears at least one of them must go.

The biggest demand is for Sexson, a right-handed hitter who hit
45 home runs and knocked in 124 runs last season, playing every
inning in all 162 games.

"There are a number of clubs interested in Richie, a number of
clubs that might have to do some things financially first," Melvin
said. "This isn't a fire sale, which people think it may be. It's
still got to in my mind be a good baseball deal for us in the
future. This isn't going to be a guy I deal for one minor league
player, or anything like that."

One of those teams that might have to make financial moves is
Arizona. The Diamondbacks had a $94 million payroll last season,
and want it down to $80 million for next year.

Colangelo said the Diamondbacks are talking to the Brewers about
Sexson.

Arizona general manager Joe Garagiola Jr., while not confirming
any specific potential deals, said talks are progressing.

"Whether that all leads to something this week, the winter
meetings, or sometime in between, time will tell," he said, "but
the conversations are pretty substantive at this point."