Brandon Belt making progress from illness, resumes baseball activity

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

SAN FRANCISCO — First baseman Brandon Belt has resumed baseball activities with the San Francisco Giants at spring training after dealing with what manager Gabe Kapler called a virus without providing further details – though Kapler did say previously it wasn’t COVID-19.

The 32-year-old Belt already had been worked in slowly given he had surgery in October to remove a bone spur from his right heel.

“He had a virus, and he was sick,” Kapler said. “I don’t know if there’s much more than that, sorry.”

Belt did some light baseball work Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium before going through a more extensive workout Thursday, Kapler said.

“Had a nice talk out on the field today with Brandon. He was throwing, he’s feeling better,” Kapler said via Zoom call after San Francisco’s 3-1 win against the White Sox.

“Got some work in the cage as well. We’re still pushing toward trying to get Brandon ready for opening day. There’s not much of a rush right now. We’re still pretty early in March. But today was promising and every day we’ll add a little bit of activity. When you’re sick for a little while it takes a while to build back up.”

Outfielder Jaylin Davis ran the bases Thursday after dealing with some knee soreness and should be playing soon, while outfielder Austin Slater is nursing what Kapler called “a mild sore hamstring.” He is swinging the bat.

“He was running really well and we’re especially confident that you’ll see him in the lineup in the next couple of days, maybe one more day of running the bases and then we’re going to be good to go,” Kapler said. “Did outfield drills today and looked outstanding. His body’s moving well.”

Right-hander Reyes Moronta, who didn’t pitch last season while rehabbing from surgery on his pitching shoulder, and lefty Jarlin Garcia are closer to getting into game action, too.

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.