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Archive for Thursday, June 17, 2004

Beltran ignores rumors

June 17, 2004

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— Carlos Beltran hardly can turn around these days without hearing his name in trade speculation.

Last week in Kansas City, general manager Allard Baird told Beltran that he would be the first to know if the Royals made a deal involving their center fielder.

"He just tried to let me know not to listen to rumors, just listen to what he was going to say to me," Beltran said Wednesday before Kansas City played the Atlanta Braves. "He already told me that other teams have interest in me, but that right now he hasn't received any good offers yet. I believe in his word."

The Royals, who at 24-38 own the AL's worst record, had lost six of nine. Baird confirmed last week that no Kansas City player was untouchable, including Beltran, who last year became the first switch-hitter in history to hit at least .300 with 25 home runs and 40 stolen bases.

"I can't control what's going to happen," Beltran said. "What's going to happen is going to happen sooner or later, and I'm not worried that if we're not in contention something will happen. I still have to go out there and play my game."

The 27-year-old Beltran has been an everyday center fielder since jumping from Class A to the majors in 1998. He's earning $9 million in the final year of his contract with the Royals.

"I will be a free agent, and I know if we're not in contention something will happen," Beltran said. "A trade will come up, but I'm not worried."

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