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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.