The Raiders were just gifted $750 million by Nevada. What does it mean for the Oakland A’s?

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We’ve been watching the stadium situation in Oakland for years now. For all that watching nothing has happened for the Oakland Athletics, however, because they are basically held hostage by entities who are not the Oakland Athletics.

They couldn’t move to San Jose like they and San Jose wanted to because of the San Francisco Giants and Major League Baseball’s antitrust law-immune territory system. Likewise, they have been delayed in finding any solution in Oakland because the Oakland Raiders are also looking for someplace new to play and they and the NFL simply suck up more oxygen than the A’s do, meaning that the A’s have had to bide their time and wait to see what develops with the football team.

Now something is developing. The Raiders have been in discussions with Las Vegas for a good while now, and have seemed poised to move there if they can get the money for a new stadium. Money which no one in California is willing to give them because California is one of the few places in America that has woken up to how bad a deal it is to give professional sports teams free stadiums. But Nevada is still sleeping:

The Nevada Senate approved a plan Tuesday to spend $750 million in public funds for a new stadium in hopes of luring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, despite critics saying the deal “is deeply flawed.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval called a special session that began Monday in Carson City so lawmakers could take up a bill that would finance a $1.9 billion stadium off the Las Vegas Strip by providing $750 million from bonds that would be repaid with new revenue raised from a hotel tax.

Whether the Raiders move, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio explains, is dependent upon the votes of the other NFL owners, several of whom are opposed to having a team in Las Vegas. The NFL is not like Major League Baseball, however, and owners have been known to go rogue in the past, suing to move despite league opposition and, in some cases, being successful in doing it. Heck, the Raiders themselves have done it before.

What does this all mean for the A’s? Well, if the Raiders do get to take that three quarters of a billion Nevada is foolishly giving them and move away from the Bay Area, the prospects for a new ballpark in Oakland are substantially better. Oakland has said at various times it wants both the A’s and the Raiders, but they’ve likewise noted that only one team is going to be able to get the sort of public accommodations a stadium would require, even if the construction of the place itself would be financed with private money.

For what it’s worth, Rob Manfred said this week that Oakland officials have privately told him that baseball is the city’s priority over football, and suggested that if the Raiders moved, the A’s new ballpark, wherever it is, could finally become a reality as opposed to the theoretical construct it has been for a good decade.

Good luck with that, A’s. And good luck giving the Raiders millions and millions of dollars to relocate, Nevada. That has never come back to bite anyone in the past. Like, ever.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.