MLB Notebook: A’s receive new Oakland stadium proposal, Joey Bart designated for assignment by the Giants, and more

A’s receive new Oakland stadium proposal

The city of Oakland has a new offer for the Athletics that would see the A’s stay in the Oakland Coliseum until their move to Vegas in 2028. The city will offer a five-year lease to the A’s with the ability to opt out of the stadium deal after three years but the team would be required to pay an extension fee of $97 million to stay in the area. 

Since the announcement of the potential re-location of the A’s, where they would play leading up to the eventual construction of a new stadium in Las Vegas and with their lease at the Coliseum running out at the end of this season, the question of where they will play in the meantime has been prevalent. The Athletics have scouted numerous ballparks around the West Coast, searching for a formidable home until they move to Nevada, including the Sacramento River Cats’ River Health Park, Salt Lake Bees’ Smith’s Ballpark, Daybreak Stadium in Utah, and even the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park. 

The city says the extension fee is “non-negotiable” and will still be due if the A’s opt out of the deal after three years. This is seemingly the point of contention between the two sides, which could put this deal in jeopardy. 

There are other terms in the deal the Athletics would need to adhere to: The A’s would be liable for the cost of switching the field over from the Athletics diamond to the Oakland Roots SC soccer team’s field, similar to the time the Raiders spent in the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s would also be asked to sell their 50 percent ownership in a sporting complex in Oakland to a local development company, which the A’s have already agreed to do.

Oakland Mayor, Sheng Thao says he is “committed to doing everything in my power to keep the A’s in Oakland” and that the terms of the contract are “clear, reasonable and achievable.”

Staying in Oakland, in theory, would make the most sense for the A’s, they’ve spent decades in the Bay Area and would seemingly want to play their final game as ‘Oakland’ in Oakland. Plus, that is where their fans are. However, the A’s are averaging 6,726 fans per game. Smith’s Ballpark holds over 14,000 and Sutter Health Stadium can hold 10,624, reaching up to over 14,000 with extra seating. That 6,726 would look much more impressive in a 10,000-seat stadium over a 63,000-seat stadium. 

The two sides are expected to meet over the proposal on Tuesday. 

Joey Bart designated for assignment by the Giants

Former MLB top prospect and second overall pick in the 2017 draft, Joey Bart, has been designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants. Bart was once deemed the successor to Buster Posey and had enormous shoes to fill in the wake of Posey’s retirement, but Bart has failed to catch any type of momentum in his Major League career and now his days with the Giants are seemingly over.

Bart at the plate has been bumpy, slashing a .219 batting average in his MLB career, smacking only 11 homers and bringing in 38 runs in 162 games. Last year, Bart only swung a .207 average in 95 plate appearances and eventually lost his starting spot behind the Giants plate to another former first-round pick, Patrick Bailey. This year, Bart will be designated for assignment in favour of pitcher Daulton Jeffries, who started the Giants series finale against the Padres on Sunday. Jeffries got yanked after 2.0 innings after allowing nine runs, five earned, on nine hits in a 13-4 spanking

The Giants will now have two options: trade Bart, which San Francisco has played with recently, but that option remains unlikely. Bart has zero minor-league options left which will likely limit his trade market. Not many teams would like to make room and give up assets for a struggling Big Leaguer who has hit four times the amount of home runs in the Minor Leagues than he has in the Majors. San Fran can also waive Bart, which may lead to more suitors for the catcher. 

Bart was taken second overall in the 2018 draft, but he is not the only pick in that draft who has had a tough start to their pro career. The first selection from the draft, Casey Mize has only won seven games in 39 starts. However, Mize has not thrown in the MLB since 2022. The pitcher has struggled to stay healthy, in his three-ish seasons in the Major Leagues, he has undergone back surgery and Tommy John surgery over the last 18 months. He did have a strong spring heading into the 2024 season, winning three games, starting five of them and appearing in five, but his numbers were also quite impressive. Mize had a 2.21 ERA through the six games striking out 20 batters and holding his opponents to a .169 batting average. Mize is scheduled to start the Tigers’ fifth game of the season against the New York Mets on Tuesday. 

Selected sixth in the draft was former Seattle Mariner and current Atlanta Brave, Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic has had a tumultuous start to his career as well; Battling the MLB’s service time rules and a president that was very pleased to test those limits, Kelenic finally got his true shot in the MLB a few years after he should’ve. But to say he has been everything everybody imagined he would be would be an insult to dreams. Kelenic hit above .200 for the first time in his career last season with the M’s swinging for a .253 average in 105 games, striking out 132 times. Kelenic’s “breakout” season was hindered in July after he broke his foot kicking a water cooler after a strikeout, he would return after missing 54 games hitting for a .261 average after his return. As I mentioned, Kelenic hit over .200 for the first time in his career in 2023; in 2021, he had a .181 batting average in 93 games, and in 2022, he would swing for a .141 average in 54 games, splitting time between the Majors and Triple-A. After a trade to the Atlanta Braves this off-season, Kelenic has started off quite well with five hits in seven at-bats, bringing in two runs and boasting a .714 average. Hopefully, he can begin to find his Major League rhythm with this hot start. 

Speaking of the Braves, Kelenic may be a do-over for Atlanta in the 2018 draft as they selected pitcher, Carter Stewart. During Stewart’s physical, the Braves found a wrist injury leading to Stewart being offered below his allotted bonus from his draft spot. Stewart declined and went back to play junior college baseball. He would collect a 2-2 record with a 1.70 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 13 games but opted not to re-enter the draft. Instead, Stewart decided to sign with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. The contract would be much more than what he would’ve made in the draft with a six-year, $7 million deal. Stewart has had an up-and-down time in Japan, posting a 16-23 record with a 3.87 career ERA, and 314 strikeouts in 320.2 innings. Stewart signed a two-year, $10 million extension with Fukaoka in December and will become a true free agent in 2025. Braves were awarded the ninth overall selection in the 2019 draft as compensation for not signing Stewart where they would select catcher, Shea Langliers. Langeliers was then included in the trade that would send Matt Olson to Atlanta to replace Freddie Freeman, so I guess Stewart has had some impact on the MLB since the 2018 draft.

Speaking of ninth overall selections, selected ninth in that draft was none other than Arizona Cardinals Quarterback, Kyler Murray. Yes. Ninth. Top ten.

Now the 2018 draft wasn’t all bad. Third overall was playoff hero for the Phillies, Alec Bohm. 2021 Rookie of the Year, Jonathan India was selected fourth overall, just behind the productive Nick Madrigal. Seth Beer, Triston Casa, Brady Singer, Nolan Gorman, and Logan Gilbert were all selected in the draft but all past the 14th overall pick. As with many drafts, the cream of the crop at the time has not aged as well as the supplementary prospects, but can you really blame those teams for taking shots at the highly touted players at the time? I guess, maybe. 

Quick Notes:

  • Royce Lewis could miss up to two months after suffering a quad injury. Lewis was placed on the IL after leaving three innings into his 2024 season with a severe right quad strain. Lewis homered and singled in his first two at-bats this season, but injured his quad trying to score from first the following batter. 
  • Sean Murphy suffers an oblique injury. Murphy was placed on the IL after leaving the Braves first game of the year. Murphy came up labouring on his left oblique after an awkward swing against Phillies pitcher, Matt Strahm. 
  • DJ LeMahieu fractures his foot. LeMahieu fouled a ball off his foot late in Spring Training. Initially, the injury was deemed a foot contusion but X-rays have confirmed a fracture in the foot. LeMahieu will begin the year on the IL.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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Title: MLB Notebook: A’s receive new Oakland stadium proposal, Joey Bart designated for assignment by the Giants, and more
Author: Brett Holden

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