Bill Shaikin has a story up from over the weekend about the State of the A’s. The baseball state: good, obviously. The business state: nothing new, but we’re given the added color that some of the playoff tickets now on sale are going for $10. Ten bucks for the playoffs. Mercy.
Of course at the heart of it all is the whole San Jose Limbo and everything associated with it. On that, Shaikin offers the following nugget on how Bud Selig may try to resolve the three and a half year impasse:
There are indications Selig might rule by the end of the year. Yet, rather than say yes or no, Selig appears to be considering a ruling that could challenge both the A’s and Giants to fulfill certain criteria.
“I think there will be an effort to be Solomonesque,” said someone who has spoken with Selig but declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. “This is not a ‘yes or no’ sort of thing.”
Except that if the Giants are unwilling to compromise now, why would they enter into some sort of situation that requires them to “fulfill certain criteria?” Which is another way of saying “compromise.”
Given the long, rich history of Major League Baseball supporting these antiquated, anti-competitive territorial rights, why on Earth would the Giants not just sit back and wait to sue? And if you’re baseball or the A’s, why don’t you just force the move and see if the Giants do it?
I’m no advocate for war, but I can’t see how this gets resolved absent some shooting.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.