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A's offer arbitration to Tejada and Foulke

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Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - The Oakland will likely lose star shortstop to free agency, but not without compensation. On Sunday, the team offered arbitration to Tejada, as well as relief pitchers and . Outfielder and pitcher were not offered arbitration. By offering arbitration, the A's can continue to negotiate with Tejada, Foulke and Rincon. Should any of the three sign with another club, the A's would be entitled compensation in the 2004 Free Agent draft. The players have until December 19 to accept arbitration. If they decline, the A's have until January 8 to re-sign those players. If they accept, they are considered under contract for 2004.

The Detroit and Seattle are two teams who have been talking to Tejada, trying to acquire the 2002 American League MVP. Tejada is coming off a season in which he hit .278 with 27 homers and 106 RBI. He hasn't missed a game in each of the last three seasons.

The A's are unable to offer Tejada a long-term contract that he wants. At 27-year-old, Tejada wants the stability of an extended deal, something the apparently cannot afford.

Foulke has been courted by a few teams, including the Boston , to be their closer. This past season, his first in Oakland, the 31-year-old righthander went 9-1 with 43 saves and a 2.08 ERA over 72 appearances.

Rincon, a lefthander, went 8-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 64 games last season.

By

not

offering arbitration to

Guillen and Sparks, the A's cannot negotiate or re-sign them until May 1 and will not receive compensation if they sign with another team. Guillen hit .265 in 45 games since being acquired by Oakland from Cincinnati in the middle of last season. Sparks, who started this past season in Detroit, logged a 5.71 ERA in nine appearances for the A's.

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