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Athletics say they will not re-sign Tejada

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Credit: ESPN.com

PHOENIX -- The Oakland Athletics will not offer Miguel Tejada a new contract to remain with the team after this season, owner Steve Schott said Saturday, acknowledging the A's can't afford to keep the AL MVP.

Schott said Oakland would not negotiate with the star shortstop, which Tejada was hoping to do during spring training. He wants a long-term contract and the A's can't offer that, Schott said.

Tejada's agents have asked the team to make an offer first. He can become a free agent after this season.

"I just think the world of him,'' Schott said. "The problem is there's absolutely no way we can sign Miguel to a long-term contract. The system is broken down when only two or three teams can pick up a player of Miguel's caliber and sign him to an eight-to-10-year contract and pay him the money he deserves. This small-market team with the system we have just can't afford him.''

After announcing the decision, Schott took Tejada aside to break the news to him just before the A's played the Seattle Mariners.

"I know he's going to be unhappy and hurt about it,'' Schott said.

Schott said the A's would not make Tejada a low offer because, "I'm not going to insult the guy.''

Tejada, who has said he wants a long-term deal after this season, would be the second MVP to leave Oakland in three years. Jason Giambi, the 2000 MVP, signed a $120 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees after the 2001 season.

The A's did not trade Giambi before he became a free agent and made the playoffs in his final year with Oakland. Schott said the team is not considering trading Tejada during the season because he truly believes the A's can reach the World Series.

When Tejada reported to spring training last month, he said he would like to move his family to the Bay area from the Dominican Republic so his two children could attend school in the United States. He wants a stable setting so he doesn't have to switch them from school to school.

"I love Oakland. It's a great city,'' Tejada said. "I know everybody. It's like a family.''

Tejada has not said how much money he will ask for. He made $3.65 million last season and will get $5 million this year.

Tejada hit .308 with 34 home runs and 131 RBI last season to help the A's win 103 games, and he believes he can play even better. The A's lost to the Minnesota Twins in the AL division series, the third straight season Oakland was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. That's one thing Tejada wants to help fix.

Until the A's can generate more revenue -- Schott said it will take a new ballpark to do that -- they won't be able to keep all of their star players. Aside from Giambi, outfielder Johnny Damon and closer Jason Isringhausen also went elsewhere for big money after the 2001 season.

Third baseman Eric Chavez's contract is up after the 2004 season. Schott said each situation is unique, and wouldn't go as far as saying it would be a long shot to re-sign the 2002 Gold Glove winner.

Chavez was surprised by the news Saturday that Tejada probably will be gone. Chavez did say he appreciates the club being up front with its players.

"For some reason, this one's a little bit bigger (than Giambi),'' Chavez said. "He's at the center of our core. It's weird to hear that. Obviously, he's just too much of a commodity for Oakland.''

Schott wishes that weren't the case.

"When you see a person like Miguel, who came from virtually nowhere, he was working ... and begging on the street for 25 cents to help his dad, it is extremely difficult not to keep him in the organization for the future,'' Schott said.

"We could lose two MVPs in two years to the system. Sure, it (ticks) me off.''
 

AJBurnett34

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Do the A's want to win a Worl Chamion Ship or what? Thats Crazy that they wont sign him again. He is the heart and soul of that team.

Who ever gets him next season will be lucky. My guess is that Boston will be going after him and put him or Normar on 3rd...
 

Dante_evil

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Do the A's want to win a Worl Chamion Ship or what? Thats Crazy that they wont sign him again. He is the heart and soul of that team.

Who ever gets him next season will be lucky. My guess is that Boston will be going after him and put him or Normar on 3rd...
I agree he was the most important piece on the A's. Its sad that they wont sign him again.
 

Rune

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Do the A's want to win a Worl Chamion Ship or what? Thats Crazy that they wont sign him again. He is the heart and soul of that team.

Who ever gets him next season will be lucky. My guess is that Boston will be going after him and put him or Normar on 3rd...
No their pitching is their most important part of the team. Just like The Marlins their success is how well their young pitching can get them.

To Dante, maybe the Red Sox can pick them up?

Nomar may not even be a Sox next year

Nomar + Pedro + Lowe + Varitex + Nixon = Big money.

Theo Epstein is trying to cut money. At most you will see three of those guy's stay maybe 4 if they re- sign Nixon and Varitex for cheap.
 

Mephisto

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I understand what the A's are doing is sort of what the marlins did with Floyd at least they tell their player their plans and not lie to them.
 

yankeefan21

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I like this quote from yahoo...

Speaking of changing positions, Giambi was asked whether he thought Tejada could play third base. The Yankees already have Derek Jeter at shortstop, but Giambi smiled wide when he considered the possibility of his pal ``Miggy'' playing in pinstripes.

``I'm sure he would,'' Giambi said. ``Go get the Boss.''
 

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