Athletics

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf confirms A's could relocate to Las Vegas

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Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf confirms A's could relocate to Las Vegas

Many well-known baseball faces filled the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday for the AL Wild Card Game, including MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

In between signing autographs for fans, there were more pressing issues that the commissioner tackled -- including the future home of the A's.

Manfred reportedly told Oakland officials they need to drop the lawsuit against the A's or there would be a risk that the team relocates to another city, specifically Las Vegas.

Tuesday morning, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed the report on KTVU:

https://twitter.com/sal_castaneda/status/1181590842022060032

Manfred released a statement on Tuesday regarding what was said. The quote was forwarded to NBC Sports California from the offices of Schaaf:

"In a recent meeting with the Mayor of Oakland, I did mention Las Vegas in the context of pointing out that the A's might have to relocate if a new stadium can't be built in Oakland. There is, however, no plan to move to Las Vegas. If it becomes necessary to consider relocation, there will be a formal process that will consider all potential relocation sites."

The lawsuit against the A's is to stop the development of the 155-acre Coliseum site to help pay for a privately financed ballpark, which has been proposed to be built at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square in Oakland. 

In the suit, the city argues the county violated the Surplus Land Act, which calls for extra land owned by public entities to first be considered for public housing. The city said the county did not negotiate "in good faith" for the required 90-day period. Rather, they skipped it and began working on the deal with the A's. 

Manfred did not appear to be messing around. He made it clear if this wasn't dropped, A's fans could be joining the Raiders and cheering on their beloved teams in Sin City. 

The commissioner hasn't ruled out the possibility of an MLB expansion team moving to Las Vegas. With the success the A's Triple-A affiliate has had in attendance this season after developing their new stadium -- plus legal gambling in the area -- Vegas has become an attractive city to the MLB.

[RELATED: Manfred 'very concerned' over A's stadium lawsuit]

In addition to the Raiders, Oakland already said goodbye to the Warriors, who relocated to San Francisco at the state-of-the-art Chase Center.

This adds yet another hurdle to what was appearing to be promising progress into building a new ballpark for the A's. 

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Having a lefty bat at the second base position continues to be one of the A's main focuses this offseason

That could mean reuniting with Eric Sogard. A source tells NBC Sports California the 34-year-old is open to returning to Oakland.

Sogard, currently a free agent, had an exceptional campaign in 2019 slashing .290/.353/.457 with 13 homers across 110 games with the Blue Jays and the Rays. He was part of the Tampa Bay squad that came to the AL Wild-Card Game in Oakland and celebrated in the visitors' clubhouse.

A's fans remember the outcome of that. 

The second baseman spent six seasons with the A's from 2010-15 where he accumulated a .239 average with eight home runs and 105 RBI. 

The A's traded second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres on Dec. 2, so they have a need at the position.

Despite picking up a talented second baseman during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, the team will still seek a more prominent starter at the position. 

[RELATED: A's are focused on keeping young stars]

The A's reportedly are interested in bringing current Mets second baseman Jed Lowrie back for the third time -- but there are 10 million reasons as to why the Mets wouldn't make a trade.

Did we mention Sogard bats left-handed yet?

2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft: A's lose Mark Payton, acquire minor leaguers

2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft: A's lose Mark Payton, acquire minor leaguers

As teams headed down south to the Winter Meetings in San Diego, the two main goals for the A's appeared to be finding a left-handed bat at second base, as well as continuing conversations with relief pitchers.

While the A's didn't make any huge acquisitions during the meetings, the 2019 Rule 5 Draft came and went as it does every year. With that, Oakland selected three players in the minor-league phase of the draft and had a couple more transactions as well.

Second baseman Vimael Machin was acquired from the Phillies for cash considerations. He will be competing for a roster spot.

The 26-year-old slashed .295/.390/.412 with seven home runs and 65 RBI across the Double and Triple-A teams in the Chicago Cubs organization last season. 

Jason Krizan was selected from the Mets during the Triple-A phase. The 30-year-old outfielder hit .275 across two teams last season. 

The Athletic's prospect writer Emily Waldon says he's going to be a solid addition to the A's organization.

"His walk rate has always been impressive," Waldon told NBC Sports California. "He doesn't have a ton of swing and misses, with some raw power, with eight to ten home run seasons. He's also a dependable defender with a good veteran presence." Waldon also joked Krizan has "80-grade sarcasm."

The A's also selected catcher Jose Colina, who put up some massive numbers with the Arizona League Indians Blue after signing with Cleveland as a minor-league free agent in June. The 21-year-old slashed .372/.443/.744 with eight homers and 20 RBI.

Right-handed pitcher Deivy Mendez rounds the group out. In 25 appearances across Single-A and Short-A last season with the Padres organization, he went 2-1 with six saves and a 4.20 ERA, striking out 33. 

[RELATED: A's interested in acquiring Lowrie for third time]

The Cincinnati Reds selected outfielder Mark Payton, who was claimed off waivers by the A's in December of 2018. Payton was selected during the major league phase of the draft which, according to Waldon, has the A's losing some muscle at the plate.

However, scouts reportedly didn't see the 28-year-old "doing a great deal outside of filling some needs." That power is what has gotten the most talk around Payton. 

Payton took advantage of the PCL last season with Triple-A Las Vegas and slashed .334/.400/.653 with 30 home runs and 97 RBI in 118 games.