NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The New York Mets say veteran first baseman Mo Vaughn will not play in 2004 because of a degenerative left knee.
Vaughn, 36, appears to hold out only a remote hope of returning.
"I don't want to mislead anyone," he said. "It doesn't look good at all for playing, but you never know."
Vaughn appeared in just 27 games last season and did not play after May 2. He hit just .190 with three homers and 15 RBI. The Mets have decided against him reporting to training camp.
"We are not holding out great hope Mo will play again, but we stop short of announcing he is retiring," said his agent, Jeff Moorad.
Vaughn, who was scheduled to earn $15 million in 2004 and has a $5 million buyout for 2005, hit .249 with 29 homers and 87 RBI in 566 at-bats over two-injury plagued seasons with the Mets.
The three-time All-Star is a career .293 hitter with 328 homers and 1,064 RBI.