Mum's the word
Red Sox management refuses comment on A-Rod/Manny rumors
Posted: Saturday December 6, 2003 6:29PM; Updated: Sunday December 7, 2003 3:51AM
The word out of Boston's front office, however, was no word at all, as the team neither squelched nor encouraged the speculation.
"We appreciate the inquiries and interest today, but we try to adhere to a policy of not commenting on trade rumors," general manager Theo Epstein said in a statement. We respectfully cannot participate in the process of confirming or refuting trade rumors."
However, both The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, citing anonymous sources, reported that team owner John Henry had at least preliminary discussions with Rodriguez, obtaining permission from Commissioner Bud Selig to speak with a player under contract. The Globe reported for Sunday editions that Henry is expected to meet with the shortstop and his agent, Scott Boras, after returning from Tuesday's dedication of the team's baseball academy in the Dominican Republic.
Rangers spokesman Gregg Elkin said there were no developments to report, and team general manager John Hart did not return telephone messages seeking comment.
Texas owner Tom Hicks said talks about a potential swap of the only $20 million-a-year players in baseball history are continuing.
"There are discussions going on," Hicks told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The only way it makes sense for the Rangers is that if there were financial considerations to give us the ability to significantly improve our team in  and beyond.
"If that doesn't happen there will be no trade."
On Friday, Ramirez's agent, Jeff Moorad, said talks were underway.
"There seems to be a focus that often leads to successful deals," he said. But he added: "I've stayed in touch with both clubs over the last few days, and neither seemed optimistic today that a deal was imminent."
Rodriguez told Texas last month before he won his first MVP award that he was open to having the Rangers explore a trade.
The shortstop has reached 47 homers and 118 RBIs in three straight seasons. Ramirez had at least 33 homers and 104 RBIs in each of his three years in Boston.