San Jose land deal for potential new A’s ballpark being investigated

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Via Ballpark Digest, we learn that someone thinks that the land transferred by the city of San Jose for potential use for an A’s ballpark was illegal:

The transfer of land destined for a new San Jose ballpark is officially being reviewed by California Controller John Chiang to determine whether it was done legally. California municipalities were warned in early 2011 that assets of city and county redevelopment agencies would be transferred to the state in order to balance the budget. For the most part, that indeed happened … but San Jose created a separate Diridon Development Authority and transferred the land there.

If this is found to have violated the 2011 order, the land would have to be returned to the state, rendering it ineligible to be used for a ballpark.

Eh, call me cynical, but I think this is the best sign that the A’s may move there we’ve seen in years.  I mean, when was the last time one of these ballpark schemes were accomplished without questionable nonsense going on? This just shows they’re serious, right?

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.