All-Star's career in Montreal effectively over

Updated: December 8, 2003, 2:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MONTREAL -- The end of Vladimir Guerrero's career with the Montreal Expos arrived Sunday night, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports.

After one last attempt to sign Guerrero to a long-term deal failed this weekend, the club declining to offer the All-Star outfielder salary arbitration Sunday night.

That effectively ends their opportunity to negotiate with him. He would be unable to return before May 1.

"We worked hard at extending our relationship with Vladimir, including a revised offer on Friday that sparked further discussions," said Expos general manager Omar Minaya, who had traveled to the Dominican Republic last week.

The Expos had offered Guerrero a heavily backloaded five-year contract for more than $70 million Friday. But when he and agent Fernando Cuza declined, they essentially cut their ties, Stark reported.

Minaya, in the Dominican Republic on a scouting trip, never visited with Guerrero.

A four-time All-Star, Guerrero hit .330 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs last season. He was on the disabled from June 6 to July 21, missing 39 games because of a herniated disc.

Baltimore is among the teams thought to be interested in the 27-year-old outfielder.

Montreal also declined to offer salary arbitration to infielder Todd Zeile, third baseman Fernando Tatis, first baseman Wil Cordero and right-hander Jose Mercedes.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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