A's Re-Sign Manager Art Howe

Just a month ago, it appeared Oakland Athletics manager Art Howe was on the way out.

But a strong finish and support from key players apparently worked in his favor, and now Howe will return for at least one more season.

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He reportedly asked for a multiyear deal but agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2000.

The A's said his rehiring would be announced at an afternoon news conference.

"We finally got it done," Howe told the Oakland Tribune. "I'm pleased to be coming back. There's a lot of work still to do, and I want to get it done. I'm ready to get going."

It had appeared Howe's future with the team was tenuous, but he had a 20-19 run to end the season, and designated hitter Matt Stairs and first baseman Jason Giambi were said to have appealed to general manager Billy Beane on behalf of Howe.

Kenny Rogers, who won 16 games for the A's last season, also endorsed the easygoing manager.

"These guys played hard and that reflects the manager," Rogers said. "I think Art got the maximum out of this team."

Art Howe
Art Howe will be back for at least one more year. (AP)

The A's finished with 74 victories -- nine more than the previous season -- with a crew of prospects, like Ben Grieve, and a sprinkling of veterans, like Rickey Henderson.

The A's also were to announce the signing of first-round draft choice Mark Mulder of Michigan tate.

Mulder, the second overall pick in this year's draft, signed Tuesday with a record $3.2 million signing bonus, according to his agent.

The bonus exceeds the $3.15 million received by top pick Pat Burrell from the Philadelphia Phillies and No. 3 pick Corey Patterson's $2.89 million from the Chicago Cubs.

Mulder, 6-foot-6, was 6-6 with a 3.40 ERA for Michigan State last year.

"I wish it could have happened earlier in the summer," Mulder said. "No matter. Now it's time to go and play some baseball. I've been waiting to get playing for a while now."

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