CLEVELAND (AP) -- Juan Gonzalez might be interested in playing for the New York Yankees -- at least for a few months.
A representative of the two-time AL MVP told New York and Detroit on Friday that the Tigers outfielder would accept a trade to the Yankees, but only without a contract extension, meaning he could become a free agent after the season.
Jim Bronner, Gonzalez's agent, would not comment directly on what his client would do.
''We talked with both clubs,'' Bronner said. ''We indicated something to both clubs. It's really something they have to work out.''
And while Gonzalez tries to figure out what to do, the Yankees are trying to envision what it would be like to have his bat in the lineup.
''He has an opportunity to come to a team that has done so well three of the last four years,'' said Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams, who played Little League with Gonzalez in Puerto Rico. ''The amount of boost he would give to our lineup would be tremendous.''
Williams, speaking in Chicago, said he understands Gonzalez's reluctance to play in New York.
''There are some very good players who have refused to come here and play,'' he said. ''He's a great player and all the great players from opposing teams don't get a great welcome in New York, always get booed and have a lot of pressure to perform.
''Interestingly enough, he always plays so well against us whenever he comes to the city. He just kills us. I think somebody maybe has to let him know that's not as bad as it looks. I have never seen in the last five years a player who has come here to play who has anything bad to say about the city or team.''
Gonzalez didn't have much to say about the possible trade on Friday. But he did laugh about it.
''No, not now,'' he said as he waved away reporters before the Tigers' game against the Cleveland Indians.
Before taking batting practice before Detroit's 7-6 win, Gonzalez found all the speculation about him ending up in pinstripes amusing.
Just as Gonzalez walked into the Tigers' clubhouse, a TV report from Chicago -- where the Yankees were playing the White Sox -- gave the latest news about the deal. After listening in for a moment, Gonzalez shook his head and then laughed out loud along with many of his Tigers teammates.
Gonzalez's position on the tentative 3-for-1 trade agreed to Thursday was confirmed to The Associated Press by a baseball source who spoke on the condition he not be identified. Under a no-trade clause in his contract, Gonzalez can block a deal to New York.
The Yankees would send outfielder Ricky Ledee and a pair of prospects to Detroit -- third baseman Drew Henson, Michigan's probable starting quarterback, and pitcher Randy Keisler.
New York, however, isn't likely to be interested in giving up that much to have Gonzalez for little more than half a season. The Yankees, according to a person familiar with the deal, viewed the initial response as a bargaining stance. The sides were expected to talk more during the weekend.
Gonzalez and the Yankees were given an initial 72-hour window Thursday by the commissioner's office to work out a new deal, but New York seems unconcerned about any deadlines, working under the assumption they can be extended.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, watching New York's Class-A team in Tampa, Fla., refused comment on Gonzalez, obtained by Detroit from Texas in a nine-player trade during the offseason.
The Yankees also are still pursuing a possible deal for the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa.
''A famous player and philosopher, Yogi Berra, said it right, 'It ain't hardly over until it's over,''' Sosa's agent, Tom Reich, said Friday night.
Meanwhile, Tigers manager Phil Garner said he's not expecting Gonzalez to go anywhere.
''Everything he has told us is that he wants to be here,'' Garner said. ''He wants to help make this club better.''
Gonzalez entered Friday night's game batting .260 with 13 homers and 30 RBIs.
''He's been a beauty all year,'' Garner said. ''I'm planning to have him for the rest of the year.''
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.