The San Jose-Major League baseball lawsuit continues, with San Jose filing a response to Major League Baseball’s motion to dismiss. Major League Baseball will get a final reply and a hearing on the matter is set for October 4. The Mercury-News has a summary of it all.
Well, maybe not all. For while it does deal with the arguments the two sides have lobbed back and forth about whether Major League Baseball is entitled to maintain its antitrust exemption, nowhere in the story does it mention Major League Baseball’s better, stronger argument about how the city of San Jose doesn’t have legal standing to challenge it. I’ve talked about that extensively.
I believe that, if for some reason the court decides that San Jose does have standing, the anti-trust exemption and Major League Baseball could be in serious legal trouble here. But that’s a huge, unlikely “if,” and I am having a really hard time seeing how San Jose gets over that threshold.
But boy howdy if they do, get the popcorn, because this will be a total blast.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.