The Athletics get a step closer to San Jose

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The City of San Jose has received the results of a commission studying the economic impact of a new downtown stadium for the Athletics. Not surprisingly, the report says it would be a dandy idea:

The development of a 32,000-seat ballpark with 81 home games and three non-MLB events a year would lead to $130 million in annual spending throughout the local economy and $2.9 billion over a 30-year period.

The analysis also shows that a new stadium would create 2,100 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs in San Jose, of which 980 would be new jobs. That number does not include players but does include team personnel.>

Of course every single pre-construction study like this ever devised has said that a new ballpark would cause cash and unicorns and stuff to fall from the sky and it doesn’t really ever turn out that way, so people shouldn’t get too excited.

My view is that the A’s need a new park, that San Jose seems like the best option, and that as long as taxpayers aren’t footing the bill, go ahead and build.  The thing, though, is that city officials shouldn’t be selling it to citizens as an economic development tool, because that just never pans out the way people say it will. Rather, they should be honest and say it’s a civic pride thing, and that they’re willing to pay a bit of money around the edges for land and infrastructure improvements if it means that they’ll get a big league team. Mostly because it has the benefit of being true.

The most interesting thing in all of this comes late in the article: “San Jose must be included in the team’s name, the city insists.”  I can’t figure that the A’s would have kept the “Oakland” appelation after moving so far anyway — and it’s not like they haven’t changed things up multiple times in the past — but it will be odd to say the “San Jose A’s.”  Cool-sounding, but odd.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.

Reds hire Lou Pinella as a senior advisor to baseball operations

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The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has hired former manager Lou Pinella in a consultant capacity as a senior advisor to baseball operations. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds that Pinella will also spend time with the team at spring training.

Pinella, 72, was last seen with the Giants in 2011, also in a consultant capacity, but he spent only the one season there. He has 23 seasons of experience as a manager, with his most recent four coming with the Cubs between 2007-10.