Great Moments in Optimism: The A's have hired a ballpark architect

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It’s been a year and a half since Bud Selig said he’d study the, oh, four variable problem that is the Athletics’ stadium and relocation issue. While it wouldn’t take that long for most nations to achieve nuclear capability during that time frame, Selig’s committee is still studying the matter. Can’t be rushed, you know.

The threat for a long time was that if baseball lets the Athletics move to San Jose, the Giants would sue over the violation of their territorial rights. Lew Wolff and the A’s are probably the more aggrieved party by now for having been made to wait so damn long, but I doubt they’ll sue anyone.  In fact, maybe they’ll just move and let baseball and the Giants sue them. Not a bad idea!

If they are considering that, they’ve taken a good first step: they’ve hired a ballpark architect.  Yeah, I realize the real reason for that is likely so they can have fancy drawings of a a beautiful park when the matter finally makes it to the ballots in San Jose, but I’d like to think that Wolff’s plan B is to just build the damn thing and make everyone try to stop him.

Report: Rangers’ deal with Seung-hwan Oh is off

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The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.

Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.

While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.