Rolen ponders trade to Cardinals

Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2002

ATLANTA -- All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen of the Philadelphia Phillies said Saturday that he would be willing to consider signing a long-term deal if he gets traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rolen has been the subject of trade reports since rejecting a $140 million, 10-year contract extension from the Phillies last November. He is eligible to become a free agent after the season.

St. Louis spokesman Brian Bartow said that the Cardinals and Phillies have been talking but there would be no announcement Saturday.

Rolen is keenly aware of speculation that St. Louis covets him. The Cardinals are four games ahead of Cincinnati in the NL Central.

''We all know that is a situation I'd be willing to talk about,'' Rolen said.

Including a long-term contract?

''Yes, I would,'' he replied. ''It's a situation where I'd like to see if I fit in.''

Rolen said he doesn't expect to be traded without agreeing to a new deal with another team.

''There has to be a deal,'' he said. ''If the right situation arises, I'd be willing to talk about a contract extension. But right now it's out of my hands, as it always has been.''

Rolen has averaged 26 homers and 95 RBIs in his first five seasons. This year, he is batting .259 with 16 homers and 65 RBIs, despite getting booed at home and criticized by some teammates.

The trade deadline is Wednesday. After that, Rolen would have to clear waivers to be included in a deal, which is unlikely to happen.

''I'll be happy when it comes to a close,'' he said after Saturday's 5-3 loss to the first-place Atlanta Braves, which left the Phillies 18 1/2 games back in the NL East.

Rolen's agent, Seth Levinson, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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