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MLB Insider Details What Oakland Offered and What the A’s Wanted

The Oakland Athletics are leaving the city they’ve called home since 1968. The A’s announced Thursday that they are moving to a minor league stadium in Sacramento for 2025-25, with an option to stay for a fourth year. Sutter Health Park, home of the San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate, will become a major league stadium for at least three seasons. The A’s will be sharing the park with a capacity that seats 14,000. The news of the move adds to the frustration of the ongoing drama of the A’s relocation to Las Vegas.

ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney revealed on his social media account what both sides wanted to keep the franchise playing in Oakland past 2024.

“It appears that the difference between what Oakland offered and what the A’s wanted was about $25 million or so over three years. Or about the same that the Angels are paying reliever Robert Stephenson. Meanwhile, owners overseeing an industry worth many tens of billions of dollars stand by and watch their weakest franchise put on this cheap circus, and do nothing. Incomprehensible. And a terrible business decision.”

The A’s Relocation Situation is Strange and Sad

The A’s were in negotiations with both Sacramento and Oakland for an interim home for the next three seasons. The team’s lease at the Coliseum in Oakland expires after the season.

“Oakland offered a deal that was fair to the A’s and was fiscally responsible for our city,” said Oakland mayor Sheng Thao. “We wish the A’s the best and will continue our conversations with them on facilitating the sale of the share of the Coliseum site.”

According to Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, a person who was briefed on the negotiations, Oakland’s final offer to the team to stay in the city included a $60 million lease-extension fee the A’s would pay, down from $97 million the city had proposed in the past. The A’s asked MLB to provide the city with a one-year window to find an owner for an expansion team.

A’s Owner Shares Statement of the Move

Olney’s comments are spot on. During a news conference Thursday, owner and managing partner Jeff Fisher expressed his excitement in a statement.

“We look forward to making Sutter Health Park our home throughout our move to Las Vegas. We extend our appreciation to the Kings and the City of West Sacramento for hosting the A’s while we work to complete our new ballpark in Las Vegas.”

He reflected on his team’s new home, saying that he can’t wait to watch the A’s play regular season games at Sutter Health Park: “Being able to watch some of the greatest players in baseball, whether they be Athletics players or Aaron Judge and others, watching home runs out of the intimate ballpark in all of MLB for the next year years.”

Looking at Other Owners Who Moved Teams

Statements like this are impossible to tolerate or ignore. It’s true after seeing fans deal with relocations of their teams from the past. Art Modell comes to mind, as someone who wrenched the Cleveland Browns to the point where he moved them to Baltimore. Then, there’s Clay Bennett, the Oklahoma businessman who took the Seattle Supersonics of out town. These men are remembered for the damage and little effort they provided to at least help the respective franchise bring in money and find a way to win again. As for Fisher, the 62-year-old is a perfect example of this.

It Only Gets Worse

It’s sad what’s happened and it only gets worse. Rosenthal remarked last year that what Fisher’s done to Oakland “threatens the integrity of the 2023 season.” There’s truth to this for a few reasons. Fisher made it impossible for fans to truly have full confidence in him and invest in the team. He’s treated the franchise like they don’t belong in the city, as if there’s no baseball game to go, but there is with only six months left of it in Oakland.

Since Fisher bought the team in 2005, their payroll has always been in the bottom ten of the league. The A’s have posted a 1478-1497 record.

Main Photo: © Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports


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