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A's Losing Time To Extend Josh Willingham

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Time's running out on the Oakland Athletics chances to sign their top offensive producer in outfielder Josh Willingham beyond the 2011 season, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The 32-year-old Willingham would like to return, but the team has put spending decisions on hold until a decision comes from Major League Baseball about the A's stadium situation - they've been waiting for over 2 1/2 years.

Willingham's agent, Matt Sosnick, spoke on the situation:

"We gave the A's an idea of where we were, and we were told they have interest in bringing Josh back, but before they did anything, they want to see what happens with the stadium," Sosnick said. "Josh and I both made it clear he'd like to stay, but at this point, I'm pretty sure he'll test the free-agent market.

Josh Willingham, a free agent after this season, is hitting .251/.338/.479 with 27 homers in 544 plate appearances this season. Willingham projects as a Type-A free agent, meaning the A's will receive a first round selection from a team that signs him (top 15 protected), if Willingham declines Oakland's arbitration offer.