The Red Sox signed lefty David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract last week, which had an effect on current free agent Johnny Cueto. As Peter Gammons reports, Cueto’s agent Bryce Dixon said that Cueto “really wanted to go to the Red Sox” because his idol is Pedro Martinez.
Cueto is the best free agent pitcher still available. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants, and Nationals have shown the most interest in him thus far. The right-hander is believed to be seeking $140-160 million in total, according to a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick at the end of November.
Cueto, who turns 30 in February, compiled an aggregate 3.44 ERA with a 176/46 K/BB ratio in 212 innings between the Reds and the Royals. Most of his regular season success, however, came with the Reds as his ERA across 13 starts with Kansas City was a lackluster 4.76. Cueto had, until 2015, posted a 2.82 ERA or lower in four consecutive seasons.
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.