The Athletics and manager Bob Melvin agreed to an extension earlier this week, but that could be the last deal the A's make for a little while. Josh Willingham's agent, Matt Sosnick, told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he approached the club with ideas for a multiyear contract for his client. However, Sosnick was told by GM Billy Beane that the Athletics' spending decisions are on hold until the team's stadium situation is resolved.
"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…. We talked about a time frame, given that Billy would like Josh back, but it seems like Billy is sort of hamstrung right now."
As Slusser writes, the A's have been awaiting a decision on their move to San Jose for over two and a half years. Beane and other club officials have indicated for the first time recently that they expect resolution soon.
According to one of Slusser's sources, the stadium decision will affect the way the A's spend their money this offseason. If San Jose were approved, the club would cut back on payroll and go into "all-out rebuilding mode," while if they remained in Oakland, short-term spending is more likely, in an attempt to increase gate and possibly attract potential buyers.