Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics could lose the Sacramento River Cats, their Triple-A affiliate, to the Giants after the season. The Athletics’ affiliate agreement with Sacramento expires after the season, coinciding with the Giants’ deal with the Fresno Grizzlies, their Triple-A affiliate, expiring as well.
Slusser notes that Sacramento is considered one of the better minor league cities to play in and the River Cats play in one of the best stadiums in the minors. It would certainly hurt the Athletics’ ability to reign in free agents looking to make it back to the big leagues. The Giants are comparatively a more attractive partner given the market in which they play.
The Giants and A’s have some recent history with each other, as the Giants blocked the Athletics’ attempt to move to San Jose. The River Cats joining forces with the Giants would just be more salt in the wound for the Athletics.