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Rays wait for Piniella

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG — Lou Piniella was offered the job as manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tuesday and now must decide if he wants to work at home or merely closer to it.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but it was believed to be a three- or four-year offer with an average salary that is more than the $2.5 million Piniella was to earn as manager of the Seattle Mariners in 2003.

Piniella lives in Tampa in the off-season and wants to work closer to his family. He is also being pursued by the New York Mets.

A ban on major announcements during the World Series forced the Devil Rays to cancel an afternoon news conference at Tropicana Field, where general manager Chuck LaMar planned to give an update on the club’s pursuit of Piniella.

“The commissioner’s office has informed the Devil Rays and other clubs that there will be no comments on any subject until the World Series is completed,” the Devil Rays said in a statement.

Piniella and his agent, Alan Nero, were presented with a formal contract proposal during a meeting with LaMar and Devil Rays managing general partner Vince Naimoli.

The Devil Rays received permission to negotiate with Piniella last week, and the manager also would like an opportunity to speak with the Mets, who fired Bobby Valentine this month. The Mets, however, have been unable to agree with Seattle on compensation.

Tampa Bay began talks with Piniella last weekend after agreeing to compensation the Mariners will receive if the Devil Rays can sign Piniella.