The New York Mets and star right-hander Dwight Gooden failed to agree on a new contract Friday, the pitcher's negotiating deadline, and he repeated his intention to test the free agent market after the 1991 season.
Gooden had told the Mets he wanted a contract extension to be settled by Friday or he would entertain offers from other teams at the end of the season, when his current deal expires.Gooden's agent, Jim Neader, met for an hour with Al Harazin, the Mets' executive vice president, without reaching an agreement. Gooden turned down the New York offer of a three-year deal worth about $13 million and the sides could not agree on a new proposal.
After Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens signed a record $21.5 million pact over four years, Gooden originally sought a similar deal. After the Mets revised a three-year offer Wednesday to $13.5 million, he said he was more concerned about the salary than the length of the new offer.
"I don't want to talk about contract at all through the 1991 season, " said Gooden, who was 19-7 with a 3.83 earned run average last season. "The next time I'll talk to the Mets is when I'm talking to the other clubs."
Gooden said he was disappointed by the failure of the negotiations.
"I guess I am," he said. "Insulted? I don't want to comment on that. I'll leave that up to you."