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April 1, 2003

Oakland Signs Tejada to Five-Year Extension

Reigning MVP to Get $58.5 Million

by Baseball Prospectus

OAKLAND (API) -- A's General Manager Billy Beane announced today that the Oakland Athletics have signed AL MVP Miguel Tejada to an extension through the 2008 season.

"We're very pleased to have gotten this done," said Beane, "and it's a tremendous load off my mind to know that we'll have Miguel in Oakland for many years to come. It's important to the success of the A's and for our fans. I couldn't be more pleased."

The terms of Tejada's deal include a $3.5 million signing bonus, and escalating salaries through the 2008 season averaging $11 million annually.

Although Tejada might have commanded more on the free agent market after the 2003 season, the shortstop said he was happy to give the A's a hometown discount to stay in Oakland.

"This where I came up, and it's where I want to play the rest of my career. I love the people, I love the clubhouse, and I want to bring another ring to Oakland. I could have gotten more somewhere else, but now it's off my mind and I can focus on just playing baseball."

Pat Rooney, Tejada's agent, had previously stated that he didn't want negotiations to continue past Opening Day, but "Miguel really wanted to get this done. Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta, and Michael Crowley all worked very hard to get this done. There's a reason Miguel was willing to give the A's a hometown discount. This is a class organization."

A's owner Steve Schott, missing since a March 25th hunting trip with Assistant GM David Forst, was unavailable for comment.

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