Indians set a deadline for Francisco Lindor trade offers

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Yesterday we talked about how the Indians seem intent on trading two of their best players — each of whom are under team control, paid far less than their actual baseball value for at least two years — despite the fact that they should be considered contenders for the American League Central title.

I still don’t know why, other than a simple desire to clear more profit by spending less on players, the Indians would want to do this, but they are doing it. And, it would seem, they are doing it in a manner calculated to give them less of a return than they might otherwise be able to get. How? By placing an artificial deadline on offers for Lindor:

The Francisco Lindor talks appear to be reaching a critical stage.

The Indians are telling clubs interested in trading for Lindor that they want each team’s best and final offers so they can make an assessment over the weekend.

That’s Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic. Rosenthal quotes a source who, quite sensibly, notes that the Indians could probably get more for Lindor as the offseason goes on and teams are better-aware of their needs. For example, say you are in the market for Josh Donaldson and you’re one of the 29 teams who do not end up with him. A Lindor trade would also help shore up the left side of the infield and give you a middle-of-the-order bat, right? The Indians, however, appear to be in a dang hurry and cannot be bothered to wait for the market to come to them.

But like everyone says: when you have the chance to trade away an all-world shortstop with a big bat who is under team control at a bargain price when you’re a contender, you have to make that trade, every time, even if it means cutting off all your leverage. That’s just basic sense.

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

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

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.