The A’s and Oakland poised to strike a deal. Thanks to Bud Selig saying the A’s could leave town immediately

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The Oakland A’s have been trying to get Major League Baseball to allow them to move to San Jose for over five years now. That approval has not been and likely never will be forthcoming. But, when the Oakland City Council was poised to reject the team’s new lease for the Oakland Coliseum today, Selig did give them at least some form of approval to move. It was to Bluff City, U.S.A, but still:

The Athletics and Oakland appeared headed for a last-minute deal Thursday morning after the A’s owner informed city and county leaders that had received permission from baseball commissioner Bud Selig to immediately move the team out of Oakland unless a deal was approved.

I’d reckon that permission did not include an actual location where the A’s could go — and if the permission actually scared the Oakland City Council, God, who are these people and why don’t they read up on Major League Baseball’s politics more often — but I guess if it works it works.

And it appears to have worked. The City Council is expected to approve the lease extension today.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.