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While San Jose’s hopes for bringing the A’s baseball team to a downtown ballpark remain in limbo, the city is toughening its stance toward opponents of the move from Oakland … Last week the city filed for a court order allowing it to examine the organizational structure — and any Giants ties — of Stand For San Jose, a community group whose lawsuit over the proposed ballpark has raised questions about the San Jose plan’s viability.
I’m generally pro-A’s-to-San Jose, but I’m struggling to think of why it’s at all relevant if the Giants are behind some community group which opposes the A’s move. They’re overtly hostile to the move already, to the point where they’ve threatened litigation. If they’re also covertly hostile, so what?
The answer is politics, of course, as I’m assuming there are politicians in San Jose who would find it in their best interests to paint opposition to their stadium plans as some corporate conspiracy. But why that justifies the use of pubic legal resources to sniff such associations out is beyond me.
Fine, there may be a legal standing argument to be made — the litigation against San Jose was allegedly initiated by San Jose residents — but unless the Giants are absolutely stupid, even if they were secretly behind a push to stop the move, they’d do what every other litigant in history has done and get some bona fide local residents on the case to establish standing.
And my pro-A’s-to-San Jose leanings aside, I’m sure there are a LOT of people in San Jose who don’t want the A’s there, especially if it means the use of any kind of public money or land. So it’s not like any and all opposition to this stuff is a sham.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.