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A-Rod mulling options

While Yankees officials prepared to gather in Tampa to determine the fate of manager Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez was in California to consult with agent Scott Boras on his negotiating strategy.

Rodriguez and Boras began talks Sunday, and the agent said the star third baseman will remain in California for several days.

"We plan to spend a lot of time together in the next week," Boras said yesterday.

Rodriguez has until 10 days after the World Series ends to decide whether to opt out of his record $252 million, 10-year contract and become a free agent. The Yankees plan to offer him an extension and say they would drop out of talks if A-Rod opts out.

"We're going through reams of information now, and looking at the baseball side, the economic side, the future of his family and what their goals are, putting all that into the landscape of what decision he's going to make," Boras said.

Rodriguez, who was named Player of the Year by the Sporting News yesterday, is guaranteed salaries of $24 million in each of the next three seasons from the Yankees, who receive $21.3 million from Texas as part of the 2004 trade that brought A-Rod to New York. If Rodriguez opts out, the Yankees would lose that subsidy.

Boras said he isn't sure whether the Yankees' decision on Torre will be factored into Rodriguez's thinking.

"That's not a question I've ever asked Alex," Boras said.

Angels making change

The Angels have scheduled a press conference today for what the team termed a major announcement. It is believed that Bill Stoneman is relinquishing his duties as general manager after eight seasons to assume a consultant's role with the club . . . Joel Piñeiro agreed to a $13 million, two-year contract with St. Louis after thriving with the Cardinals down the stretch. The righthander went 6-4 in 11 starts with St. Louis after being acquired from the Red Sox at the trade deadline.

Getting it in writing

George Mitchell has received an extensive paper trail documenting performance-enhancing drugs sent to players by former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, a person familiar with the probe said. Among the documents Mitchell and his staff have obtained are invoices detailing the substances sent to players, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Mitchell likely will issue his report on steroids in baseball by the end of the year, said lawyer Thomas Carlucci, who had told club officials Friday that they should assume the report will name names.

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