NEW YORK — The Oakland Athletics are expected to sign free agent outfielder Rickey Henderson to a new contract today for $3 million a year, according to a published report.
The contract would make Henderson baseball's second $3 million player. The Minnesota Twins signed center fielder Kirby Puckett to a three-year, $9 million contract last week.
The New York Times, in today's editions, quoted Richie Bry, Henderson's agent, as saying Henderson wanted to give the A's every opportunity to sign him because he is a native of the Bay Area.
Henderson, who will be 31 Dec. 25, starred in the American League playoffs and the World Series for the A's, who reacquired him from the New York Yankees on June 21 for pitchers Greg Cadaret and Eric Plunk and outfielder Luis Polonia.
Henderson was named the outstanding player in the playoffs against Toronto, batting .400 with two home runs, five RBIs and eight stolen bases in eight attempts. In the A's World Series sweep of the San Francisco Giants, Henderson batted .474 with a home run and three steals in four attempts.
The Yankees had expressed interest in reacquiring Henderson.
Henderson batted .247 with 25 stolen bases in 65 games with the Yankees. After being traded back to Oakland, he batted .294 and stole 52 bases in 94 games.
Henderson began his major-league career with Oakland and was traded to the Yankees in 1984 for five players.