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Curt Schilling Plans To File For Free Agency

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ Curt Schilling will file for free agency once the season is over after being told by Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein the team will not offer him a contract extension in spring training.

``Theo and I talked yesterday and Theo was upfront and honest,'' the 40-year-old pitcher said Thursday on WEEI-AM radio. ``It was a very quick meeting. It was easy.''

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said the refusal to offer a contract during spring training didn't mean the club was ready to part with Schilling.

``He's been a horse for us,'' Lucchino said on WEEI after Schilling spoke. ``He's been sensational over the years and this is, by no means, meant to be a sayonara to Curt Schilling in any way, shape or form.''

On Jan. 29, Schilling said he would not retire after the 2007 season as previously indicated, but he wanted a contract for 2008 settled by the end of this spring training.

``The request of Curt came as a bit of a surprise,'' Lucchino said Thursday. ``But out of respect for him, we met and discussed it, considered it and thought at this age and stage it was probably more appropriate to make that contract decision at the end of the season.''

Schilling struggled late last season and finished with a 15-7 record and 3.97 ERA. Bothered by injuries in 2005, the right-hander was 8-8 with a 5.69 ERA. But in 2004, his first season with Boston, he was 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA and a star of the Red Sox victory in the World Series.

``I'm going to play out the season and file for free agency at the end of the year,'' Schilling said. ``Obviously, I'm disappointed, but it is a business.''
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