On Christmas Eve, while you were all drinking too much and having passive aggressive interactions with your families, Bob Nightengale reported that the Athletics’ long-awaited move to San Jose was finally poised to be approved by Major League Baseball.
Only one problem: no one seems to have informed the Giants about this, and at least one member of the Giants ownership group — former managing partner Peter Magowan, who was interviewed by Susan Slusser — seems to think that Bud Selig will never let the A’s move to San Jose because of multiple promises he made the Giants:
“I’d be amazed that, with all the public reassurances we’ve received from Bud Selig over the years, he would change his mind on this matter,” Magowan said. “He’s a man of his word, a man of integrity, and he has been clear and direct in the past about reaffirming our territorial rights. It’s hard to see how he would not be bound by what he’s said, as many times as he has been on the record in support of those rights.”
I’m sure that Selig just loves to have one of his former owners telling a major daily newspaper that the outcome of all of this is that he is either (a) ineffective as a leader; or (b) a liar. People in Selig’s position just adore it when people who wouldn’t be where they are now publicly back you into a corner like that.
Anyway, Slusser also reports that the A’s move will not be on the agenda at the upcoming owners’ meetings, so who knows. It’s unclear whether Selig putting a hit out on Magowan will be on the agenda.
He can do that, right? He’s pretty powerful.
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.