Rickey Henderson wants more money and the Oakland A's are offering less time. Henderson, the American League's MVP, is unhappy with his four-year, $12 million contract and wants it extended at a higher rate. The A's offered a solution Wednesday, saying they were willing to shorten the deal, which has three years to go."There will be no extension," Oakland general manager Sandy Alderson said. "We see no benefit to the Oakland A's in offering an extension." There could be benefits to both sides in a shortening of the deal, though. Henderson could file for salary arbitration -- he is not eligible for free agency again until after the 1994 season because of repeater rules -- but would lose his no-trade clause, giving the A's the option of moving him to another team. "We might feel we're substantially better of under those circumstances," Alderson said. Henderson, who sat out the club's first eight full squad workouts to protest his situation, did not repeat his pay-me-or-trade-me ultimatum. "I don't want to be traded." he said. "But when your back is up against the wall, you have to do what is right. I'm going to do what is right for Rickey." He passed on the A's exhibition game Wednesday against Seattle. "I don't want to go out there with my head messed up," he said. "Sandy and I have a difference of opinion right now. He knows my side. He knows what can happen. he knows I'm not happy." While Alderson seemed to be drwing the line on Henderson's contract, Pittsburgh general manger Larry Doughty said if it was up to him, he'd whip out the Pirate checkbook and start signing key players like MVP Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Andy Van slyke and Cy Young winner Doug Drabek to long term deals. The problem is it isn't up to him. The Pirate purse strings are controlled by chairman of the board Doug Danforth and club president Carl Barger as well as the teams board of directors. Doughty has talked with Barger about the matter. "We discussed our approach on the matter of negotiating long-term contracts," the GM sais. "He was receptive to what I had to say." Bonilla and Van Slyke can file for free agency following the 1991 season. Drabek and Bonds are eligible the year after that. "We'd like to keep them all if we can," Doughty said. "Whether we can afford to sign them all or not is another matter. I'd like to give it our best shot." Bonilla and Bonds both lost arbitration and will make $2.4 million and $2.3 million respectively this season. Drabek won his arbitration case and was awarded $3.3 million. Van Slyke is in the final year of a three-year deal worth $5.5 million. An elbow problem cost Texas pitcher Kevin Brown his last four starts last season. But p;itching coach Tom House thinks he has hyper-flexibility. That puts more stress on your elbows and shoulders." In other developments: --- Outfielder Dion James, a non-roster invitee to the New York Yankee's camp, will undergo surgery to repair ligament damage to his left elbow. The operation will keep James out for the season. --- Gov. George Voinovich will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the World Series champions play the Houston Astros in the traditional National league opener. --- Toronto outfielder Joe Carter, traded to the Blue Jays by San Diego last winter said he wasn't thrilled with the idea, especially after moving into a new house in southern California. It was the third time Carter has been traded. "You never get used to it," Carter said. "But with guys moving around now like cats and dogs, I guess you should expect. it."
A'S OFFER HENDERSON LESS TIME INSTEAD OF BIG-BUCKS EXTENSION.
By Deseret News