From John Lott of Toronto’s National Post comes word that the Blue Jays have exercised catcher Jose Molina’s $1.2 million option for the 2011 season.
No surprise here. John Buck had an exceptional 2010 campaign as the Blue Jays’ starting catcher, tallying 20 homers and an 802 OPS over 409 at-bats, but he will be a free agent this offseason and is expected to land a multi-year contract with another club.
With that knowledge, the Jays decided to lock up Molina for one more year and use him in a platoon with young backstop J.P. Arencibia for the first few months of 2011. If Arencibia continues to develop as expected, he should be the starter in Toronto by the All-Star break.
Molina, 35, hit .246/.304/.377 this past season with six homers in 167 at-bats. Arencibia, 24, slugged 32 home runs in 412 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium for the Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.
The measure can still be amended by lawmakers, and if it passes the Senate it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the state Senate and Assembly are adjourned until Monday.
In a hearing that began Wednesday and stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.
Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.
The A’s would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.
A’s representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas’ developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag.