The Rays won an important political battle late last week in the St. Petersburg City Council, as Charlie Frago of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Under the deal that the council approved, the ballclub will have the opportunity to explore possible stadium sites in two neighboring counties for the next three years. Team owner Stuart Sternberg suggested that there’s no plan in place for a new location. “We haven’t done it before,” he said. “I don’t know if it takes a week or six months to identify and figure out a site.” But the organization made clear that it is aiming for something more than bare function. “We want to build the first of the next generation of baseball stadiums,” said president Brian Auld.
- In other stadium news, Athletics majority owner John Fisher is said to be more involved than usual as his club considers possibilities for a new park, as Phil Matier and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle report. While managing partner Lew Wolff has traditionally been the public face of ownership, Fisher is believed to control 80% of the shares.
- Change continues to filter through the Blue Jays organization, which has recently announced two front office hirings. Mike Murov will come over from the Red Sox to serve as the director of baseball operations, in which role (says the team) he’ll “assist in the preparation and analysis of financial, statistical, and contractual information, coordinating contract negotiation and arbitration preparation.” And Toronto also recently added Gil Kim to their organization as well. Formerly the international scouting director for the Rangers, Kim will serve as the Jays’ director of player development.
- The Orioles have given a promotion to the head of their analytics department, Sarah Gelles, as David Laurila of Fangraphs discusses (among other things) in his Sunday notes column. Now the organization’s Director of Analytics and Major League Contracts, Gelles discusses the development of the club’s analytical efforts, which she helped drive as an intern working for now-Phillies GM Matt Klentak.