Both players committed to league

Updated: November 13, 2003, 9:24 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic --Miguel Tejada will join the Dominican Winter League in December along with Atlanta's Rafael Furcal.

Tejada, one of the top free agents, will be with the Cibaenas Eagles.

"One of the conditions I demand in signing a new contract is that no one stops me from playing in the winter league," said the shortstop, who won the 2002 American League MVP award with Oakland.

Tejada, from the southern city of Bani, has played in the Caribbean country's winter league for eight years, helping lead the Eagles to six championships.

"I'll join the Eagles at the end of December to play one or two regular season games and later play full-time in the semifinals," Tejada said.

He hit .278 with 27 home runs and 106 RBI with Oakland last season.

There are six teams in the winter league, which began Oct. 31.

Furcal, from the southern town of Loma de Cabrera, will join the Escogido Lions on Dec. 15.

"I owe in part the level of play I achieved in the majors in 2003 to the fact that I played full-time last winter with Escogido," said the shortstop, who hit .292 with 15 homers, 61 RBI, 130 runs and 25 steals.

The Caribbean Series starts Feb. 6 in Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic has not won a Caribbean Series at home since 1989.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press