Report: Rangers, Yankees in on Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino

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The Rangers and Yankees are reportedly pursuing free agent relievers Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino, according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. While the Yankees have been linked to the pair from the get-go, this is the first time the Rangers have emerged as a potential suitor for either pitcher.

Britton, 31, was dealt to the Yankees in advance of the 2018 trade deadline and finished the year with a cumulative seven saves and a 3.10 ERA, 4.6 BB/9, and 7.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings. Granted, that’s a far cry from his sub-3.00 ERAs and 30+ save totals of seasons past, due in no small part to the recurring forearm and Achilles tendon injuries the left-hander has worked to overcome. Previous reports from Jayson Stark of ESPN indicated that Britton had been angling for a four-year contract this offseason, and it’s not yet clear whether the Yankees or Rangers have any intention of meeting that demand given the pitcher’s recent struggles on and off the mound.

Unlike Britton, the 33-year-old Ottavino is coming off of his strongest season yet. The right-hander rounded out a seven-year run with the Rockies in 2018 with six saves and a remarkable 2.43 ERA, 4.2 BB/9, and 13.0 SO/9 across 77 2/3 innings. He’s attracted a fair amount of interest this winter, with the Red Sox, White Sox, and Rockies all rumored suitors, though the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders said Saturday that the Rockies are no longer expected to be in the mix. Ottavino may no longer be able to shake up Coors Field, but there’s no question that he could help bolster one of the strongest bullpens in the American League, and Rosenthal adds that while the Yankees still need to solve some questions in their rotation, picking up both relievers isn’t “out of the question” just yet.

With the Rangers, things are less clear. They have a stable foundation in closer José Leclerc and right-handers Jesse Chavez, Chris Martin, and Connor Sadzeck, but may not be in a position to make a big enough offer to net someone of Ottavino or Britton’s caliber — assuming either (or both) would jump at the chance to make a big impact for a non-contender in the first place.

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

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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.