SAN DIEGO (AP) -Tony Clark and the San Diego Padres are discussing a one-year deal that could bring the big first baseman back to the city where he played high school and college ball.
Agent John Boggs said there's a 50-50 chance the 35-year-old Clark will sign with San Diego. The Padres appear to be the player's best option after the Arizona Diamondbacks all but abandoned attempts to re-sign him after pulling off big trades with Oakland and Houston on Dec. 14.
``We're having meaningful dialogue. We're moving in a positive direction,'' Boggs said Thursday night. ``A lot of clubs would love to have him, but they'd have to move someone to make room for him. We're trying to move in a direction that seems to be wanting us. They've indicated he's a player they would want.''
Boggs said he's being cautious because he's seen the free-agent market move slowly for some of his clients.
``I've got a guy who with a limited number of at-bats hit probably more home runs than a lot of guys on other teams,'' Boggs said.
.249 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs in 221 at-bats with the NL West champion Diamondbacks in 2007.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Thursday that no deal was in place. But he said he could imagine how Clark would hit at spacious Petco Park and said he was impressed with the veteran's leadership. If signed, the switch-hitting Clark would back up first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and provide pop off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
``If he knows what his role is, he goes at it 100 percent,'' Boggs said. ``He's a true professional. Needless to say, he brings leadership and clubhouse presence. He was the glue in Arizona.''
Clark went to high school in San Diego and played at San Diego State.
``It intrigues him,'' Boggs said. ``Coming back home to San Diego, to play for the Padres, makes for a nice story, makes for a nice fit. Obviously he's a guy that can hit home runs out of this ballpark. He's not a wallscraper. He hits titanic bombs. It's something that he looks at in a very positive way.''
Clark was taken by the Detroit Tigers with the second pick overall in the June 1990 draft. He made his big league debut with the Tigers on Sept. 3, 1995. Besides Detroit, he's also been with the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and New York Yankees.
Also Thursday, Towers said the Padres and Khalil Greene's agent continue to work on the language of a two-year contract that will pay the shortstop $11 million during the next two seasons. Greene is due $4.5 million this season and $6.5 million in 2009. If he has 625 plate appearances this year, he'll earn an additional $500,000 in '09.

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