In a fascinating article about the potential of a new Rays ballpark in Tampa Bay, Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times gives insight into property trading as a method for acquiring land on which to build a new stadium. The mechanism is fairly simple at its core; Hillsborough County would trade parcels of valuable government-owned land near the downtown area to private property owners in exchange for their land in the Channel District-Ybor City area, where the county would like to build a new stadium. County Attorney Chip Fletcher confirmed with the Tampa Bay Times that the county is looking into these trades as a way to lower the cost of acquiring new property for a ballpark. Contorno’s piece offers a deep look into all the factors the county must consider when deciding whether this method truly makes sense from a business perspective. Rays fans (and Tampa Bay taxpayers) might enjoy learning about the complexities of the situation Hillsborough County faces.
More from around the American League’s Eastern Division…
- While much has been made of stud third baseman Manny Machado’s potential exit from the Orioles after 2018, Rich Dubroff of PressBoxOnline.com examines the situation of another O’s icon in his final year; center fielder Adam Jones. Jones has manned center for ten consecutive years in Baltimore, thanks to a six-year, $85.5MM extension that made Dan Duquette’s front office look brilliant. Because Jones is a leader in the clubhouse and current franchise icon, Dubroff places a heavy weight on the decision Baltimore faces in whether or not to retain him. Jones has been worth 28.8 fWAR as a member of the Orioles’ organization, compiling 248 home runs and 802 RBI across 6,221 plate appearances while posting a .279/.319/.468 slash line, good for 109 wRC+. As of right now, the only guarantees the Orioles have on the books beyond 2018 are those of Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Darren O’Day, the latter two of whom become free agents after the 2019 season.
- Is Masahiro Tanaka pitching his way off the Yankees roster? That’s the question Joel Sherman of the New York Post asked on Friday. Within three days of the conclusion of the World Series, Tanaka can choose to opt out of the final three years and $67MM on his contract. The former Japanese star is strengthening his value with each of his elite postseason starts so far in 2017, but his case for a larger contract goes beyond the postseason alone. While Sherman opines that Tanaka was expected not to opt out before October, that notion seems to entirely ignore the right-hander’s elite second half. After the All-Star break, Tanaka posted a 3.77 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP, with a wicked 10.73 K/9 and 1.65 BB/9. Strong peripheral stats, such as a 2.83 xFIP, point to Tanaka being one of the AL’s best starters during that span. Questions remain about the health of his elbow and his ability to keep the ball in the park, but as things stand right now, it seems likely that Tanaka could earn more than $67MM if he were to opt out and test the open market.