Earlier this month Major League Baseball hand the Oakland A’s told the Oakland Coliseum Authority that unless the Authority renews the A’s lease in Oakland for only two years — which the A’s and MLB want — instead of five — which the Authority wants — that the A’s could move to AT&T Park in San Francisco and play its home games there as early as next season.
Awkwardness averted: the Authority is voting on a two-year extension for the A’s today. The A’s deal is even going to be sweetened somewhat, as the new lease will give the team a greater share of the stadium’s food services and revenues. The vote is expected to pass.
The concession is couched in terms of giving a little to get a little, with the Coliseum Authority president saying that they want to lay the groundwork to keep the A’s permanently. The A’s obviously don’t want that, however. And I’m still pretty dubious that the threat here — that the A’s would go play in San Francisco instead — is one that the team would actually carry out if forced to. If the Authority said “five years or pound sand,” I sorta feel like they’d take the five years rather than become roommates with the Giants or else move to some minor league complex in a city not claimed by any other Major League team as territory.
But now it’s academic. And we probably get two more years of nothing continuing to happen with the A’s and their ballpark woes.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.
Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.
Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.