San Jose postcard

San Jose’s effort to get the Athletics: one step forward, two steps back?

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On Friday the San Jose Redevelopment Agency moved to sell five city-owned parcels of land, the proceeds for which would be used to buy land needed to build a downtown ballpark for the A’s.  The move would raise $25 million or so. The Agency has already spent about $25 million on getting the land together on which Lew Wolff wants to build a ballpark.

Only problem: new California Governor Jerry Brown — whose aura smiles and never frowns — may propose today that all municipal redevelopment agencies will be abolished in an effort to fix California’s massive budget problems.  This wouldn’t take land away from the city, of course, but it would take away the entities that handle such sales, so that would likely complicate everything. If that happened, normal government employees instead of real estate redevelopment experts would have to do all of this, and they can barely dress themselves in the morning. Or at least that’s what I hear on the talk radio.

In other news, it’s been nearly two years since Bud Selig appointed a commission to study the matter of the A’s moving to San Jose.  I expect that he’ll soon announce a second commission, the purpose of which is to go out and search for the first commission.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.