Athletics have narrowed down preferred ballpark sites to two

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With the Oakland Raiders leaving town and the Golden State Warriors moving across the Bay to San Francisco, the momentum and enthusiasm for a new Oakland Athletics stadium has ratcheted up considerably. Now, Oakland Magazine reports, the A’s have narrowed down the potential sites for a new ballpark to two:

The Oakland A’s are now focusing on two sites in the city for a new ballpark: Laney College near Lake Merritt and Howard Terminal on the waterfront next to Jack London Square, according to four knowledgeable sources. Two of those sources say the Laney College property has edged into the lead as the team’s preferred spot.

Laney College area is close to downtown between Interstate 880 and Lake Merritt and near a BART station. According to the article, the preferred site is the Peralta Community College site noted on this map:

Oakland folks: weigh in to give your thoughts about that site, would ya?

The secondary site, Howard Terminal, is close to the waterway that leads into the Bay, but is farther from public transportation. There are concerns about heavily-used railroad tracks near there, however, which fans would have to cross in order to get to games.

The article says that the Laney College site seems to be preferred based on public polling being conducted by the A’s which focuses more heavily on that site, but A’s president Dave Kaval told Oakland Magazine that all three sites — these two and the Coliseum site — are all still on the table. He would not be likely to admit that one site is preferred over others, however, as the club wouldn’t want to tip its hand in negotiations.

Either way, the club is supposed to announce a site selection by the end of the year. What they’ll do, I have no idea. All I hope is that they choose a site that is 100% unable to be used by the Oakland Raiders if and when they come back from Las Vegas, once again looking to squat on A’s property.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.