NEW YORK (AP) -- Even though the New York Mets pulled out of the bidding for Alex Rodriguez, agent Scott Boras doesn't figure to have trouble finding other willing teams.
"I got calls from all the other wolves and they seemed to be pleased that one wolf was dead," Boras said Tuesday.
A day after the Mets surprising decision, Boras and New York GM Steve Phillips still disagreed Tuesday about how the Mets went from being the favorite to sign baseball's top free agent to not wanting him at all.
"There were no demands made," said Boras, who talked to Phillips twice on Monday. "When he called to tell me about his concerns about what Seattle had done with Alex, I listened to what he said and told him Alex is comfortable with the normal and customary treatment the New York Mets give their players."
Phillips said the conversations he had with Boras last week, during the general managers' meeting at Amelia Island, Fla., and on Monday, were very different.
"What he says now is that he wants to be treated like any other player on the team," Phillips said. "Then, it was show us the design on how we will market around the player. How many billboards will be put up in the city? How will the other players feel about being moved into a secondary role? It was that sort of tone and that sort of content."
Boras said he only spelled out what the Mariners did for Rodriguez in Seattle, including having billboards displayed in the city.
The team also had a conference room at Safeco Field that allowed Rodriguez to come to the stadium early to meet with his marketing people, instead of shuttling around downtown offices.
"These things were helpful to Alex," Boras said. "They were helpful in the sense that it showed the city of Seattle embraced Alex. It was a comfort thing, never a demand."
Phillips believes that could cause dissension on a World Series team that has stars like Mike Piazza, Al Leiter and Edgardo Alfonzo.
"I did not go around and poll players," Phillips said. "From an organizational standpoint, it was my opinion, shared by ownership, that creating an environment that separates one individual from the group in a significant way is not something we try to do."
Phillips said that while Boras made no contract demands, his impression was that Rodriguez needed special treatment to succeed. Not so, the agent said.
"It worked well and allowed him to succeed in Seattle," Boras said. "That's not necessary in New York. Alex Rodriguez will succeed anywhere. Any general manager that thinks otherwise is wrong."
The Mets' decision to drop out of the Rodriguez bidding could put Seattle and the Chicago White Sox in the lead for his services. Colorado, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Baltimore might remain interested, too.
The Mariners and Rodriguez already are comfortable with the way he is treated in Seattle.
The White Sox have a young team with only one superstar, Frank Thomas, and plenty of money to spend. Also, owner Jerry Reinsdorf is familiar with how to thrive with the ultimate team sports star, having done it with Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
There is speculation that the Mets' move stems more from the fact that they are going to put their money into pitching -- especially retaining starters Mike Hampton and Rick Reed. They also could make a run at Manny Ramirez.
But Phillips said those were parallel pursuits and aren't affected by the decision on Rodriguez.
"The priority was and still is pitching," Phillips said. "Obviously, we're in on all of those pitchers that we think can improve our team. We have the luxury to consider some position players out there. I guess there is some additional flexibility."
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