Athletics

A's president: No revenue sharing puts stronger focus on new ballpark

A's president: No revenue sharing puts stronger focus on new ballpark

New A’s president Dave Kaval said Friday in a press conference that the team would do everything in its power to make up for the loss of revenue-sharing money from Major League Baseball, but he did not address how the team’s payroll would be impacted for the time being.

Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement eliminates the hefty annual check the A’s have received from the more prosperous clubs, reportedly around $35 million last year. That money will be incrementally reduced, with the A’s receiving 25 percent less each of the next four years until it’s phased out completely.

Kaval said the loss of that money simply underscores the importance of the A’s identifying a new ballpark site in Oakland so they can build a stadium to open up new streams of cash. Kaval said he’s walked all of the sites the team is considering around the city, but he didn’t offer a timetable for when a site would be chosen or when construction might begin.

In the meantime, the A’s president stressed repeatedly in a media conference call Friday that all of the revenue the team does generate going forward will be invested back either into the on-field product or the fan experience at The Coliseum.

“I think the key thing is being smart about deploying resources,” Kaval said. “There’s no silver bullet. You have to address a variety of aspects with folks’ interaction with the club.”

He added that could include everything from broadcasting to “the hot dog you eat to players you watch.”

Until a new ballpark becomes reality, the challenge is how the A’s can generate the revenue they’re losing from MLB while still playing in the antiquated Oakland Coliseum, which hardly entices fans to come out and has become the butt of national jokes for numerous plumbing issues.

Kaval mentioned boosting ticket sales and improving sponsorship deals at The Coliseum as two potential revenue streams, though he adamantly declared the A’s won’t be raising ticket prices.

As for how payroll will be affected, if at all, Kaval only said that he’s dedicated “to providing all the tools needed for Billy Beane and David Forst and our baseball operations staff.”

Last season the A’s had an Opening Day payroll of $86.8 million, according to the Cot’s Baseball Contracts website. There’s speculation that that total will shrink due to the loss in revenue sharing.

It’s undeniable that the A’s financial future is tied to finally getting a new ballpark. They’re considering rebuilding on the current Coliseum site, which is complicated until the Raiders’ situation gets resolved, but are also considering locations at Howard Terminal and near Laney College.

Kaval, also president of the San Jose Earthquakes, was instrumental in getting a soccer stadium built for that team. Without talking specific sites, he said he’s spent lots of time driving around and walking all the locations the A’s are considering.

“It’s been exciting to visit the locations, walk them, squint and kind of envision where the stadium would be and the views. And how it could transform the different communities (around) the site.”

He maintains his belief that a “ballpark village” type environment is critical so that fans have motivation to visit the area even when games aren’t being played. Kaval has also said he thinks such a development is possible at The Coliseum.

He was asked if there was a renewed sense of urgency to the ballpark search given the elimination of revenue sharing.

“I think building a ballpark is something you do one time in your life. It’s a generational thing. I think it’s something we want to be very thoughtful about and make the right decision.”

Mike Trout's $430M contract has everyone debating Kyler Murray's decision

Mike Trout's $430M contract has everyone debating Kyler Murray's decision

Mike Trout just got paid.

I mean, really paid.

The Angels superstar reportedly is nearing a 12-year, $430 million extension with the Halos, keeping him in Los Angeles through the 2030 season. As we know in baseball, every cent of that $430 million is fully guaranteed.

Meanwhile, former A's prospect-turned NFL draft prospect Kyler Murray is forgoing the potential guarantees of baseball money for non-guaranteed football money. 

While Murray surely will recoup a good payday when he hears his name called in the NFL draft -- if he is drafted No. 1 he should take home over $20 million in guaranteed cash -- Twitter had a field day wondering whether Murray now regrets his decision after seeing Trout's contract.

Eagles defensive lineman Malik Jackson could only react with an emoji, and Cowboys reporter Clarence Hill of the Dallas Star-Telegram had a simple GIF response.

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman weighed in as well.

And not surprisingly, there was an abundance of GIFs from Twitter users everywhere.

Trout, of course, is the best player in baseball so comparing him to Murray isn't exactly fair to the Heisman Trophy winner.

[RELATED: Trout's contract shows Lacob, Warriors were light years ahead]

But you can bet the A's would have loved to have the opportunity to pay Murray even half (a quarter, an eighth?) of Trout's salary if he stuck with baseball.

I guess we'll never know ...

MLB rumors: Mike Trout, Angels nearing record $430M contract extension

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USATSI

MLB rumors: Mike Trout, Angels nearing record $430M contract extension

The A's will have to deal with Mike Trout in the American League West for a long, long time. 

Trout and the Angels are nearing a record-breaking 12-year, $430 million contract extension, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday. The new deal easily would become the largest in professional sports history. 

The 27-year-old was scheduled to become a free agent in 2020. He could have created a super team with Bryce Harper on the Phillies, the team for which he grew up rooting. Or maybe all the money the Giants threw at Harper could have gone to Trout, and then some. 

That no longer can be the case. 

Once Harper signed his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies, the Angels couldn't waste any time. There always have been connections to Trout and the Phillies, and Harper didn't hold back in telling the world he’d recruit the star center fielder to Philadelphia. 

Instead, Trout will continue to play for the team with which he's put together arguably the greatest start to a career in MLB history. The two-time AL MVP has a .307/..416/.573 slash line over his eight-year career with 240 home runs. 

Since 2012, when Trout won the AL Rookie of the Year and was the MVP runner-up, he has averaged 34 home runs and 26 stolen bases. His 64.3 bWAR is the most ever through an age-26 season. 

Though he probably never was going to join the A's, the team can't be happy to see Trout in the AL West for so many years to come. Since joining the big leagues, he's been an unstoppable force against Oakland.

Trout is batting .310 with 30 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 124 career games against the A's.

[RELATED: Six Harper-level free agents Giants should chase in coming years]

In an offseason where baseball stars are on the move finding new homes, Trout will have a halo and a heavy wallet for more than the next decade.