The Athletics are all but certain to move out of Oakland in favor of Las Vegas upon their lease’s expiration at the end of the 2024 campaign. That being said, the club’s new stadium in Las Vegas isn’t expected to be ready until 2028 at the earliest, creating questions regarding where the A’s will play in the interim. Some possible solutions that have been discussed would see the A’s look to split time in Oracle Park with the Giants or Las Vegas Ballpark with the Aviators, the organization’s Triple-A affiliate.
Perhaps the most frequently discussed option at the club’s disposal would be simply remaining in the Coliseum on an extended lease while the club’s new ballpark in Las Vegas is built, but Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle indicates that Oakland’s mayor, Sheng Thao, would not extend the club’s lease in Oakland easily. Ostler relays that Thao’s chief of staff Leigh Hanson indicated the city’s demands could include the A’s leaving the “Athletics” name in Oakland when they depart for Vegas or a guarantee of a new team when MLB eventually expands beyond 30 teams.
It seems unlikely that the A’s would be willing to give up the “Athletics” name nor that MLB would offer Oakland an expansion team in exchange for three additional years on the club’s lease in Oakland. Given those hefty demands, it seems that the A’s will have to look elsewhere as they search for an interim home while their future ballpark in Las Vegas is built. The A’s have officially filed with MLB for relocation, with their interim home ballpark remaining as perhaps the single biggest question mark regarding the relocation plan. Any interim home ballpark would have to receive the approval of not only the league, but also the MLBPA.
More from around the AL West…
- Angels GM Perry Minasian indicated today to reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register) that the club suggested two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani undergo imaging on his throwing arm earlier this month when he left a start on August 3 thanks to cramping in his finger. Ohtani and his team declined to proceed with the MRI, instead opting to make his scheduled start on August 9. Of course, Ohtani wound up being diagnosed with a UCL tear earlier this week, an injury that has ended his season as a pitcher. Ohtani has continued to his since the injury was revealed, and has done so at his usual MVP-caliber level: in four games since, Ohtani has recorded three doubles, a triple, and a home run on five hits and six walks in sixteen trips to the plate while stealing two bases. Minasian declined to provide an update on Ohtani’s injury, indicating that Ohtani and his team would determine his course of action and timeline as they gathered additional opinions on his injury.
- The Mariners have been one of the hottest teams in baseball this month, with an 18-5 since the start of August that’s pushed them to the top of the AL West standings. They’ve done all that without outfield Jarred Kelenic, who has been on the injured list with a fractured foot since kicking a water cooler last month. The 23-year-old youngster is recovering well from the incident with GM Justin Hollander indicating that Kelenic will begin a rehab assignment next week, as noted by Daniel Kramer of MLB.com. While Hollander indicated that Kelenic’s rehab could be a lengthy one, he expressed confidence that the young outfielder will return at full strength before the end of the season. That’s great news for Seattle, which has primarily relied on Dominic Canzone (94 wRC+) in the weeks since Kelenic’s injury.
- Sticking with the Mariners, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that catcher Tom Murphy is expected to be cleared for an increase in baseball activities and intensity this week. Murphy has been on the injured list with a thumb sprain for the past two weeks. Prior to his injury, Murphy was the club’s primary backup to Cal Raleigh behind the plate and was having a superlative season in that role, slashing .290/.335/.538 with a wRC+ of 140 in 159 trips to the plate. With Murphy on the shelf, Seattle has relied on Brian O’Keefe as Raleigh’s backup.