|OF Alex Rios and Toronto Blue Jays still working on big contract extension|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 31 March 2008 07:11|
Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said Monday he was willing to let the talks continue for a couple more days. He had said previously he wouldn't continue negotiations once the regular season started.
``We're too close to let it get away at this point,'' Ricciardi said, ``so we'll extend it a little bit longer. Like I said, if I didn't think we were close there would be nothing to talk about but we're too close so we'll just keep talking.''
The deal would include a 2015 option that could make it worth about $76 million.
It would be the second-richest contract in club history behind the $126 million, seven-year extension signed by center fielder Vernon Wells in 2006.
``It might get done. We're just still talking,'' Rios said before the Blue Jays were to play the New York Yankees on opening day. ``Yeah, whenever, I'm not going to close the door.''
The 27-year-old Rios batted .297 and set career highs with 24 home runs and 85 RBIs last season, when he earned $2,535,000. The right fielder avoided salary arbitration Feb. 5 by agreeing to a $4,835,000, one-year contract.
``This is a good organization and I'd like to be here for a long time,'' Rios said.
A two-time All-Star, Rios was Toronto's first-round pick in the June 1999 draft. He broke into the majors in 2004, and hit .286 with one home run and 28 RBIs in 111 games.
``I still think he's coming,'' Ricciardi said. ``I still think there's more in there. I remember guys saying `Geez, he only hit one home run. Is he going to have any power?' You could just see the power was coming.''