"I spoke to Jeff Kent on the phone yesterday, and Jeff's really enthused," CNN's King said on Saturday at his 2007 King of Hearts Awards Gala in Beverly Hills. "There was a question if he was going to play out the last year of his contract -- no doubt about it. He's looking forward to playing for Joe Torre."
Jeffrey Klein, Kent's longtime agent, said Kent spoke with King about playing for Torre, but never said he was returning.
"Jeff has not decided yet about whether to return for 2008," Klein wrote in an e-mail. "His mind is not 'made up' as the story states, nor did he say that to Mr. King. He is going to take his time, continue to talk with his family and see how the team takes shape for the coming season. He understands why Mr. King is 'justifiably excited' about the 2008 Dodgers, but did not comment about his own plans."
Kent has a $9 million guaranteed salary for 2008. Last week, general manager Ned Colletti said he was "pretty sure" Kent would return and Torre said he spoke with Kent by phone and he sounded "pretty upbeat and positive he was looking forward to coming back next year. I hope that's the case."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.