The Mo Vaughn era in Boston appears to be over.
The former AL most valuable player who nearly won the batting title last season said Wednesday night he won't play with the Boston Red Sox next season. General manager Dan Duquette said the team's contract offer was rejected earlier Wednesday.
"Mo rejected our offer, and it looks like he's going to play for someone else," Duquette said at Naples, Fla., where team officials met with Vaughn's agent, Tom Reich. "He's going to put his efforts somewhere else, and we are, too. We're going to look at some other options."
"I'm not moving," Vaughn said in an interview with CBS affiliate WBZ-TV late Wednesday night. "I'm just going somewhere else to work."
Vaughn, who spent his entire pro career in the Red Sox organization, was paid $6.6 million last season, the last of a three-year contract. He became a free agent and received a six-year, $72 million offer from the Anaheim Angels.
The Red Sox, who chose not to make an offer during the 15-day postseason period in which they had the exclusive right to negotiate with Vaughn, came back with a five-year, $60 million proposal.
"I never say never," Duquette told ESPN about the possibility Vaughn might return. But he said that after negotiations that began 18 months ago, "we don't really have a feel for what the kid wants to sign" with Boston.
Vaughn, reacting to Duquette's statement, told ESPN there was "a right way to do things. ... Who knows if I would have accepted any contract? But sometimes people don't see eye to eye."
"It's time to move on," he added. "Best of luck to the Boston Red Sox."
"They made a last and final offer," Tom Reich, Vaughn's agent, said. "It was submitted to Mo earlier this evening. H did not accept it. Duquette declared the negotiations over."
"I'm sure Boston will get some fine players, but it's time for everybody to move on."
Duquette specifically mentioned Albert Belle, a mercurial personality but a proven slugger who hit 49 home runs for the Chicago White Sox last season.
Vaughn had 40 homers and 115 RBIs last season. He hit .337, losing the batting race to Bernie Williams of the New York Yankees on the final day of the regular season.
The Red Sox already have announced a 15 percent increase in ticket prices to pay for Vaughn or whoever they sign in his place. Vaughn won the 1995 AL MVP award and has at least 35 homers in each of the past four seasons.
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