Read Fox Sports baseball writer Ken Rosenthal’s new article on A’s-to-San Jose move developments, then check back here for analysis and discussion.
The big stuff from Rosenthal:
- MLB wants a larger seating capacity than 32,000. FWIW, last year I explained how the A’s could get up to either 36,000 or 38,000 by simply adding four rows to one or both seating levels.
- Selig supposedly warned Wolff that $180 million precluded a move to the South Bay. First, take a look at the chart of recent franchise sales I posted last May. Then consider two takeaways from this: 1) Wolff may have to pay compensation to enter Santa Clara County even if he disagrees with it, 2) An Oakland or East Bay-based A’s automatically has a depressed value, as was speculated when Steve Schott lacked interest in Uptown. How does MLB reconcile those two problems, which are clearly related?
- The usual back-and-forth between Wolff and critics, and the Giants’ continued intransigence.
- MLB could explore the Montreal option and buy the club and resell when they get a stadium deal and a buyer for the team. Of course, that only hastened the Expos’ departure from Montreal. Also, MLB has to know by now that $500 million for an Oakland ballpark with the economic and political climate in California is going to be more than a little difficult. It goes back to bullet point #2 above: if MLB and prospective owners know that Oakland and the East Bay are limited in terms of revenue generation, what is the financial incentive to build there? How does that help the franchise or MLB for that matter?
- There’s a claim that the Giants would have to hit 3.2 million in attendance in order to “break even” with a projected $130 million payroll in 2012. That’s a curious point, and one I’d ascribe to a talking point from someone in the Giants, until I looked at the numbers. This past season, the Giants hit a $114 million payroll figure on $230 million in revenue (49.5%). Historically, the Giants have been at around 52-53% of revenue over the course of the last CBA, though in 2008 they hit 56%. That’s probably their upper limit, and $130 million in payroll would speak to that unless they got some new revenue stream out of nowhere. Or unless someone took some dead weight contracts off their hands.
All of the things I’ve been hearing leading up to the owners meetings is that some sort of resolution is due as soon as January. Rosenthal’s article certainly supports this, and actually gives a tiny amount of credence to the idea that Selig is being thorough. (Imagine that?) The path to resolution, as described by Rosenthal, is not the easiest to negotiate.
That’s a lot to take in for a lazy Saturday afternoon. I’ll be off to a birthday party soon, so my contributions to the comments thread may be limited the rest of the day. I’ll still check in every so often, so behave yourselves.
Added 4:20 PM – The Merc’s Scott Herhold picks apart the San Jose ballpark land deal, calls critics “short-sighted”.