San Jose land deal for potential new A’s ballpark being investigated

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Via Ballpark Digest, we learn that someone thinks that the land transferred by the city of San Jose for potential use for an A’s ballpark was illegal:

The transfer of land destined for a new San Jose ballpark is officially being reviewed by California Controller John Chiang to determine whether it was done legally. California municipalities were warned in early 2011 that assets of city and county redevelopment agencies would be transferred to the state in order to balance the budget. For the most part, that indeed happened … but San Jose created a separate Diridon Development Authority and transferred the land there.

If this is found to have violated the 2011 order, the land would have to be returned to the state, rendering it ineligible to be used for a ballpark.

Eh, call me cynical, but I think this is the best sign that the A’s may move there we’ve seen in years.  I mean, when was the last time one of these ballpark schemes were accomplished without questionable nonsense going on? This just shows they’re serious, right?

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.