- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - Francisco Rodriguez’s agent won’t start detailed discussions with teams until the winter meetings open in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.

Paul Kinzer, who represents the free-agent closer, doesn’t expect the marketplace to get busy for another 10 days.

“I’ll probably see the Mets at the winter meetings. I don’t have anything else planned,” he said Wednesday.

After saving a major league-record 62 games for the Los Angeles Angels, K-Rod is seeking a five-year contract averaging about $15 million per season. The Mets, needing a closer following Billy Wagner’s elbow operation, are viewed as a key suitor.

Kinzer wouldn’t identify any of the other teams he spoke with. He doesn’t expect Rodriguez to reach an agreement in the next week or two.

“I think it will be after the winter meetings. I don’t know how long after,” he said. “It doesn’t take long after you get this started and everybody starts talking.”

Only two of the 171 free agents have reached agreements. All-Star pitcher Ryan Dempster stayed with the Chicago Cubs for a $52 million, four-year contract, and lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt left Cincinnati for an $8 million, two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants.

Kinzer spent Tuesday in Oakland, Calif., with another free-agent client, Rafael Furcal. The shortstop was shown around by the Athletics.

“They wanted him to see where the players and where the coaches live, the manager,” Kinzer said. “He had no idea it was that beautiful just over the mountain there. Everybody treated him great. He enjoyed the visit.”

Furcal, who spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, also is of interest to the San Francisco Giants. He, too, will take some time to make a decision on his next club.

“We aren’t there yet,” Kinzer said.

Scott Boras’ clients usually sign later in the offseason, and his deals could help set market prices. Among the free agents he represents are outfielders Manny Ramirez and Garret Anderson; first baseman Mark Teixeira; catchers Jason Varitek and Ivan Rodriguez; third baseman Joe Crede; and pitchers Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez.

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