Athletics could lose Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento to the Giants

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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.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics