Astros owner Drayton McLane is considering a contract extension request by 14-year veteran Craig Biggio, who will be moved from second base to the outfield this season to make room for Jeff Kent.

"This is not just talk about an extension," GM Gerry Hunsicker said yesterday after meeting with McLane. "It's a situation that evolved regarding the signing of Kent and regarding Craig moving to the outfield."

Biggio and McLane met for two hours Wednesday. "Craig just wanted to get a few things off his chest," Hunsicker said.

Biggio's contract expires at the end of this season. McLane doesn't expect a decision until next week.

"I told him we'd review it and get back to him," McLane was quoted as saying on the Astros' Web site. "We'll have to look at our long-term finances and see how we can fit this into the budget."

Biggio has spent his entire major league career with the Astros and is the team's career leader in games, hits and runs. McLane has said he wants Biggio and 1B Jeff Bagwell to end their careers with the Astros.

Biggio will earn $9 million in 2003, the final season in a four-year, $33 million contract. The Astros signed Kent to a two-year, $18.2 million deal last month.

* MINOR HAPPENINGS: Several players signed minor league contracts and were invited to major league camps.

LHP Steve Avery, 32, chose the Tigers. He has a career record of 94-83 and a 4.17 earned run average in 10 seasons with Atlanta, Boston and Cincinnati, but hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 1999.

RHP James Baldwin, who went 7-10 with 5.28 ERA in 23 starts with the Mariners last season, will get a shot with the Royals.

LHP Rich Rodriguez, a 12-year major league veteran who spent last year with Texas, cast his lot with the Angels.

Former all-star C Dave Nilsson, who hasn't played in the major leagues since 1999, will get a look from the Red Sox.

-- From News Services