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A'S WILL NOT SIGN
2003-03-18 07:03
by Alex Belth

A'S WILL NOT SIGN TEJADA TO LONG-TERM DEAL

Here is Lee Sinns' take on Oakland's decision not to sign their shortstop, reigning AL MVP, Miggy Tejada to a long-term contract:


A's owner Steve Schott says the team isn't going to offer SS Miguel Tejada a longterm contract. Tejada's eligible for free agency after the season and would reportedly like an 8-10 year contract.

Excellent move by the A's. Let Tejada test the open market and then see what his pricetag is going to be.

The odds are good that someone is going to overpay because the BBWAA chose to give an award to him. Then, let the other team overpay, publicly cry about it, privately pop the champagne corks about not being that team and then take the amount you would have been willing to spend on Tejada and go get some players who you can pay based on legitimate performance issues and not hype.

Or, maybe Tejada won't find what he wants in the open market and will return at a reasonable rate.

If they lose him, it's not like they'd be losing a Jason Giambi. If Giambi averages 10 RCAA a month, that would be his worst year since his 60 RCAA in 1999. Tejada has 10 RCAA--for his entire career.

Tejada's coming off a 21 RCAA season. If he doubles that--Giambi hasn't had a season that "low" since 31 in 1998.

Jason Giambi, however, did have a reaction to Schott's move.


"I thought," Giambi said, "the whole reason they let me go was to use that money to sign all their younger players. What gives? What kind of a message does letting Tejada go send to a guy like 'Chav' (third baseman Eric Chavez, who hit 34 homers last year and is coming up on free agency after next season)?"

íŽ"I thought that was what this whole new labor deal with the revenue sharing was all about," said Giambi, "so the small market teams could afford to keep their best players? Well, I guess we know what that's all about. They wouldn't even make (Tejada) an offer. So much for your fan base."

Another former Oakland player, Johnny Damon--never shy in expressing his opinion--- weighed in with his two cents too:


''I think it's probably collusion,'' Damon said, uttering a word that causes major league owners to see red, especially in the aftermath of the proven cases of collusion in the late '80s that cost owners more than $280 million in damages. ''It's one of those things where they're saying not too many teams can afford to go out and sign Tejada, that there might be just a couple of teams that can do it -- maybe the Mets, maybe the Dodgers.

''I think they are trying to get Tejada in that corner, because they know he wants to play there, to make him think that maybe there will be no team out there for him in free agency.

''There are a lot of different stories teams use with free agents. That's one of them.''

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