A's, Thomas still talking about new contract
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Frank Thomas and the Athletics have made progress on a deal that would keep the Big Hurt in Oakland for two more years.
A's general manager Billy Beane spoke to Thomas' agent, Arn Tellem, on Thursday and Tellem said he believes the sides are making strides and that he expected to soon talk again with Beane.
"We continue to talk," Beane said Thursday. "I am cautiously optimistic that both sides have a desire to get something done. We're certainly not there yet, but we've got time. I remain positive."
The 38-year-old Thomas has said he needs to listen to all offers, and he could file for free agency after the World Series. He has also said he would like to stay in the Bay Area after reviving his career in Oakland and helping the A's reach the AL Championship Series for the first time since 1992. They were swept by Detroit.
"We're talking. We're having good talks," Tellem said in a phone interview. "We've made progress and the talks have been positive."
Thomas remade himself with the A's after spending his first 16 major-league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. After a bitter parting with his first team, he signed an incentive-laden one-year deal for $500,000 with the A's. He earned all $2.6 million of his possible bonuses based on plate appearances and keeping his troublesome left foot healthy.
Thomas homered twice in Game 1 of the division series against Minnesota -- his first postseason homers since 1993 -- and also had a hit in both Games 2 and 3 to finish the first round at .500 (5-for-10).
But Detroit's pitchers had him figured out, and Thomas went 0-for-13 in the ALCS.
"We wouldn't have made the postseason without Frank," Beane said at the time.
Thomas batted .270 with a team-leading 39 home runs and 114 RBI in 137 games this year after missing all but 108 games the past two seasons with the White Sox because of injury. He didn't play during their run to the World Series title last October.
Also on Beane's to-do list is hiring a manager after he fired fourth-year skipper Ken Macha two days after Oakland's season ended.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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