On the day after he said, "My mind is made up" to leave the New York Mets, Darryl Strawberry changed his mind yesterday. He put the Mets back on his free-agent shopping list, placing them second to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But that's where the list ends. Strawberry ruled out the other 24 major-league teams.
Strawberry also chastised his teammates for not showing enough heart, said he would return to the Mets only if they added winning players, expressed more displeasure with Mets management and specifically ruled out the San Diego Padres because "they're not winners."
In a rambling discussion with reporters, Strawberry made this much certain: his first preference is to play for the Dodgers.
"If I get the offer from L.A. that I want, I'll leave," Strawberry said. "If it's a five-year deal in the range of contracts today, I'll leave."
Strawberry will afford the Mets the first opportunity to sign him, though he stressed he will file for free agency. The Mets hold exclusive negotiating rights to Strawberry until at least Nov. 5, or 15 days after the final game of the World Series. He said he will not settle for less than a five-year deal. It is believed he will seek between $22 million and $25 million.