After nearly four years of waiting for the MLB to approve the Oakland A’s potential move to San Jose, the office of baseball commissioner Bud Selig has finally provided guidelines for the A’s to follow, according to a LA Times report.
What are the guidelines? Who the hell knows. What has been reported is that the new roadmap doesn’t ensure the A’s will be moving to San Jose any time soon, and several steps must be taken for MLB owners to even vote on an A’s relocation.
Still local officials were optimistic about the report.
“It’s a big deal because of the fact that Major League Baseball has finally said something, that they’re seriously considering conditions to (let the A’s) move to San Jose,” said Larry Stone, the county Assessor, in an interview with San Jose Inside on Thursday. “But there are so many moving parts which need to be done.”
The San Francisco Giants have exclusive rights to Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose. If the A’s were to move here, they might have to compensate the Giants for the loss of their territorial rights—which, according to the LA Times, is the least of their concern.
Under Rule 1 of the Major League Rules, the A’s would owe the Giants whatever “sum of money the Commissioner deems appropriate.” In addition to Rule 1, it’s currently being determined whether the A’s can “satisfy the Commissioner as to the bona fides” of the relocation proposal of a $500-million ballpark in San Jose.
In a public hearing on Nov. 4, 2011, the City Council discussed selling the land to the A’s for 35 percent of the appraised value for the entire ballpark site.
Once again, Mayor Chuck Reed voiced his support for the team’s move to San Jose, stating, “The question is when, because the economics are so powerful.”
The A’s would also need 75 percent of the clubs’ owners to approve a move to San Jose to satisfy, which would include rescinding the Giants’ territorial rights.
Although the chance of a move is uncertain, the Giants are sticking to their interpretation of the MLB constitution’s rules on territory rights.
“Based on these Constitutionally-recognized territorial rights, the Giants invested hundreds of millions of dollars to save and stabilize the team for the Bay Area, built AT&T Park privately and has operated the franchise so that it can compete at the highest levels,” according to a statement from the team last year.
The Giants claim they would experience economic damage should they lose their territorial rights—and fans—with an A’s move to San Jose.