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Mets still an option despite missed deadline

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets and Carlos Delgado resumed
talks Monday, a day after the free-agent first baseman let the
team's deadline for a deal pass.

The Texas Rangers withdrew their offer Sunday night, and Delgado's
agent, David Sloane, said the Mets had pulled out, too, although
the team said it was awaiting a response. Sloane and the Mets
talked again Monday.

Florida and Baltimore also were trying to sign Delgado.

"I spoke to the Marlins, Mets and Orioles [Monday] regarding our respective proposals," Sloane wrote in an e-mail to the media Monday evening.

"Carlos and I also talked about all three offers. There will be further discussion [Tuesday] with all the concerned parties. Until then, I will have no further comment and will not respond to any e-mails or IM's."

On Sunday night, after a conversation among Sloane, Mets chief
operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya, New
York was unsure where it stood.

"Jeff and I spoke to Mr. Sloane [Sunday night], and we let him know we
were trying to get a resolution on this matter this evening,"
Minaya said in a statement. "He said he would convey those
thoughts to Carlos, and he would call us back after speaking with
Carlos. We have yet to receive that callback."

The Mets gave a Sunday night ultimatum to Sloane, who balked at the deadline, forcing the Mets to pull their offer.

According to Newsday, both the Orioles and Marlins have similar four-year, $48 million offers on the table to Delgado. However, the Baltimore Sun reported the Orioles haven't offered a fourth year.

With the Rangers, where Delgado would play became an issue Sunday before Texas announced its withdrawal in a statement.

"From the first conversation with the Texas Rangers, we made it
crystal clear that Carlos Delgado had no interest in being a
full-time DH," Sloane said. "If we had 25 conversations with the
Texas Rangers, we were told in 24 of those that the question of him
playing first base was no issue. Earlier today, we were told that
is changing and that 75 percent of his at-bats, should he choose to
sign with the Texas Rangers, would come as a DH.

"After three months of negotiations, we were given less than
five hours to tell them yes or no, to make a decision that affects
not only the rest of Carlos Delgado's baseball career, but the rest
of his life."

Rangers owner Tom Hicks had met with Delgado in Puerto Rico on Friday and
offered a $48 million, four-year contract.

"Over the last few days, Tom Hicks and the organization reached
out and made a very strong offer to Carlos Delgado," Texas general
manager John Hart said. "We had a great meeting with Carlos on
Friday where we exceeded the limits of our initial proposal. As of
this evening, however, we could not get a commitment from him, so
we are withdrawing from discussions with him.

"He is a quality individual, but we want to continue to be
committed with our young players and development plan. We have a
first baseman in Mark Teixeira and other young players that we do
not want to disrupt with potential position changes. Tom Hicks is
not, and was not, afraid to spend money to add players like Carlos
to our club."

Hicks implied that the Rangers didn't want Delgado to use their
offer as a springboard.

"We were clear that we were giving it our best shot Friday at
the meeting. Others have now raised their offers, which is why we
insisted on a deadline late this afternoon," he said in an e-mail
to The Associated Press. "We called them this morning to clarify
that our interest in Carlos was restricted to him being a DH for
60-70 percent of the time, since we already have a great, young
first baseman in Mark Teixeira."

The 32-year-old Delgado would be counted on to fortify the
lineup of whichever team he selects. He hit .269 last season for
Toronto with 32 homers and 99 RBI. Delgado and outfielder Magglio
Ordonez, who is coming off an injury-shortened season with the
Chicago White Sox, are the last elite free agents who remain
unsigned.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.