The Nationals lowballed Wilson Ramos in their initial contract offer

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Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is having an outstanding season. He’s hitting .303/.352/.491 with 21 homers and has caught 125 games while appearing in 128 overall. He’s a big, big reason the Nationals are running away with the NL East and, with free agency looming, he’s about to make a whole heck of a lot of money.

Certainly more money than the Nationals offered him, according to Jon Heyman:

The Washington Nationals initiated talks with soon-to-be free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, making an initial offer. However, indications are that the Nats’ offer was somewhere in the range of $30 million over three years, which apparently isn’t in the ballpark of what Ramos seeks and perhaps not even enough to keep talks going before the offseason.

I am confident that someone is going to give a lot of money to Ramos after his career year. I am fairly certain, however, that the end of that contract is not gonna be fantastic for whoever gives it to him. He’s had a heck of a season and a catcher who can truly hit is a valuable commodity in Major League Baseball, but he turns 30 next year and he’s hitting .321 on balls in play this year, which is not sustainable. That the Nats are only offering three years and $30 million suggests that they agree with the risks.

But the market is the market and the targets Ramos and his agent are going to be shooting for are Russell Martin‘s five year-$82 million deal and Brian McCann‘s five year $85 million pact. Maybe that’s shooting too high, but that’s where he’ll shoot, certainly in terms of years. And given the thin free agent market this winter, possibly on dollars as well.

In short: the Nats lowballed Martin and, in all likelihood, borked their chance to sign him before he hits the open market.

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.