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Helton talks slow

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  January 29, 2007 05:31 PM

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What's left to be resolved in the Todd Helton trade talks?

Just about everything.

According to multiple sources involved in the talks, the Rockies haven't offered the Red Sox enough relief of Helton's $90.1 million contract to even consider a deal at this stage. In addition, the teams aren't close to resolving which prospect or prospects would go to Colorado in addition to Mike Lowell and Julian Tavarez.

"This is Todd Helton we're talking about," Rockies owner Charlie Monfort told the Associated Press today. "We're not just going to give him up for nothing."

According to the Associated Press report, the Rockies would like to obtain relievers Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen from Boston.

"Tavarez and Lowell are good, and they'll help us this season, but we need to get something else pretty good in return," Monfort said. "So, we'll see."

Sources have indicated the Rockies would offer to eat at least 50 percent of the contract, but another source indicated the Rockies haven't reached anywhere near that level in what they have currently proposed to Boston.

According to the Associated Press, negotiations with Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein were expected to resume later today when Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd returned to Denver after attending to a family matter over the weekend.

"I don't see it dragging on. If Dan and Theo can work out the bodies in the next couple of days, it will happen," said Monfort, who would need to sign off on the trade.

Monfort said he expected the deal to get done early in the week or not at all.

"I've been in this business for 15 years and 1 percent of these deals get done. We want to do right by Todd," Monfort said. "We're planning on winning the division and we'd rather do it with Todd."

The Rockies initiated the talks some time ago, but since then they have not been serious about closing the deal. The source also said the Red Sox aren't pleased that details of the talks were leaked out by the Rockies, including the names of Lowell, Tavarez and the prospects.

While the Red Sox love the thought of Helton in their lineup, they're prepared to go without if the tenor of the talks don't change soon.

Information from an Associated Press story was used in this report.

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