Marlins president responds to Frank Coonelly’s comments on Giancarlo Stanton extension

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Pirates president Frank Coonelly made some interesting comments at the team’s PirateFest event this weekend about how the Marlins actually feel about Giancarlo Stanton’s backloaded 13-year, $325 million extension. For a refresher, read this below:

When asked for his reaction to Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million extension, president Frank Coonelly chuckled and said, “It seems like Monopoly money, doesn’t it?”

Coonelly then got off his stool on the stage and stepped toward the crowd. He talked about an exchange he had with Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson during the recent owner’s meetings.

“They thought it was a great deal,” Coonelly said. “I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.’”

Not that the Marlins need any help, but those comments didn’t exactly paint them in the most positive light. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel got in touch with Samson today to get his side of the story. Samson said that the conversation was mischaracterized and Coonelly apologized via text for his comments:

“It’s a non-issue for us,” Samson said. “The opt out is purely his, not the Marlins’, so there is no way we could ever have the view that [Coonelly] professed that we did. Our view is the opposite, which is we’re counting on him being with us for 13 seasons and retiring a Marlin and being the face of the franchise that entire period.”

In addition, Samson pointed out how the opt out clause was Stanton’s idea. The Marlins had no desire to include one in the contract.

“We made it very clear to Joel Wolfe [Stanton’s representative] that we did not want an opt out,” Samson said. “It was something Giancarlo wanted because he wanted to make sure he and the team continued to move in the right direction. For us, we’re getting ready for spring training. We don’t get distracted by stuff like this. We’re getting ready for the season. This is season one of 13 with Giancarlo.”

It’s only natural for Marlins fans to be paranoid about this, but don’t feel too bad for Stanton here. Not only does he have the biggest contract in baseball history right now, but if he opts out after the 2020 season, it will likely mean that he has continued to be awesome and will have the chance to make more money on the open market. If not, he stays and will still be a very, very rich man. In the meantime, Stanton gave the Marlins a discount in hopes that they will build a competitive and sustainable team around him. Will they do it? The Marlins still have to prove it, but the potential is there for this situation to be a win-win for all involved.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.