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.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.