Athletics

Re-examining Howard Terminal, Coliseum as potential A's ballpark sites

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AP

Re-examining Howard Terminal, Coliseum as potential A's ballpark sites

Just when the A’s finally seemed to have a direction mapped out for a new ballpark, they find themselves right back at the drawing board.

With the Peralta Community College District board halting negotiations for the A’s to build near Laney College, it figures to bring other previously considered locations around Oakland back into play. Specifically, the A’s were interested in Howard Terminal and the Coliseum site itself as potential spots to build a ballpark before settling on Peralta.

For those who need a refresher on the pros and cons of those two sites, here’s a recap:

Howard Terminal:
This site has been knocked around as a possibility for many years and always created the most buzz of any spot in Oakland. It’s located right on the waterfront at the Port of Oakland, and many see it having similar potential to what the Giants have with AT&T Park. It’s the preferred site of Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf and it’s very close to the attractions of Jack London Square. Former A’s managing partner Lew Wolff flat-out discarded Howard Terminal as a consideration, citing the extensive environmental cleanup efforts and infrastructure improvements needed. But Wolff is out of the picture now, and A’s majority owner John Fisher was known to be much more keen on the site.

The drawbacks? There are plenty. The nearest BART station is a full mile away, requiring a 20-25 minute walk to where a ballpark would be. There’s thought that a new BART station would need to be built for that reason. Pedestrian bridges would likely need to be built to get fans across railroad tracks. The environmental issue is a major one. And that area along the water is protected by California tidelands trust regulations, meaning the A’s would need to seek state approval to build at Howard Terminal.

“You have to weigh, is it worth the time, effort, political opposition that might come up to pursue that type of effort?” A’s president Dave Kaval said on the A’s Insider Podcast in February. “The site is so iconic that we’ve been keeping it in the mix because, wow, it could just be something that is a game changer.”

Oakland Coliseum:
It’s the most convenient site on which to build, it would take the shortest amount of time and there is much less red tape to clear away before putting a shovel in the ground. But the Coliseum site also is the one that A’s officials seem least fired up about. It’s far away from downtown, meaning the “ballpark village” and urban vibrancy that Kaval talks about would have to be built up from scratch. But the Warriors are moving to San Francisco and the Raiders plan to bolt for Las Vegas, so in a few years the A’s could have the Coliseum complex to themselves.

One of the site’s best drawing cards is its accessibility. There’s a BART station right there, the freeway is right there and there’s tons of parking space for the tailgating that so many fans hold sacred. However, the Raiders are sticking around for at least two more football seasons, possibly three if their Las Vegas stadium isn’t ready for 2020. That makes things a bit complicated, but a likely plan would have the A’s building a new ballpark next door while both teams could continue playing in the old venue.

“I think the Coliseum is probably the hardest (location) to create kind of an urban village,” Kaval said in February. “But I think it’s possible.”

A's 2019 Projections: Josh Phegley could start unless team makes moves

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USATSI

A's 2019 Projections: Josh Phegley could start unless team makes moves

Editor's note: Over the next few weeks, NBC Sports California will be analyzing a different A's player each day to project their numbers for next season.

Unless the A's add another catcher, Josh Phegley is poised to get the most playing time of his big league career. Phegley and Chris Herrmann are currently the only catchers on the A's active roster and they figure to platoon behind the plate.

Last season, Phegley hit .204/.255/.344 with two home runs, seven doubles, and 15 RBI in 39 games. The 30-year-old re-signed with the A's in November for one year at $1.075 million.

Phegley has a career slash line of .223/.264/.372. His best season came in 2015 when he hit .249/.300/.449 with a career-high nine homers and 34 RBI.

Phegley has performed slightly better against left-handed pitching throughout his career, hitting .243/.279/.414. The right-handed hitter figures to get most of next season's at-bats against southpaws, with Herrmann starting against righties.

Phegley has also been solid defensively throughout his career, maintaining a .992 fielding percentage and throwing out 33 percent of attempted base stealers, five points above the league average.

Baseball Reference projects Phegley to hit .223/.285/.368 next year with six home runs, 15 doubles, and 28 RBI. They estimate him at 242 at-bats, which would be a career-high.

[RELATED: Chris Herrmann 2019 projections]

Phegley has done everything the A's have asked of him over the years and proven to be a consistent player and great clubhouse presence. We expect a slight improvement from last season, especially if he gets increased playing time.

Projection: .227/.297/.374, 6 HR, 12 doubles, 27 RBI

2019 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper Jr. has Kyler Murray as No. 13 pick

2019 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper Jr. has Kyler Murray as No. 13 pick

Ever since A's top-prospect Kyler Murray declared for the NFL Draft, the question is how he would fair in football.

And while we are still waiting to determine if football is indeed in his imminent future, draft experts are determining where they picture Murray will go. 

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., has Murray going in the first round: the No. 13 overall pick to the Dolphins.

"The Dolphins need to rebuild," Kiper writes. "What better way to start that rebuild than to take the Heisman Trophy winner? Now, just because Murray has entered the draft, doesn't mean he's sticking to football. He could stick back out and play baseball. But I'm treating him as if he's all-in for now, and if he goes to the combine -- he's going to run a blazing 40-yard dash -- and goes through workouts for the teams, I expect him to be picked in Round 1. This is an unprecedented situation for a 5-foot-10 quarterback, but it's going to be fun to watch over the next few months."

Murray's height is the one knock on the Heisman Trophy winner, but Doug Flutie says hello.

Murray sticks out by being a phenomenal passer and runner. He threw for 4,361 yards at Oklahoma and ran for 1,001 more yards on the ground. The combo of his arm strength and his speed makes him the type of quarterback teams are willing to take a chance on. 

[RELATED: Baseball, football scouts weigh in on Murray's decision]

It's still early in projections and especially early in teams' evaluations, but the Heisman Trophy winner appears to be a lock for the first round.

It's just a matter of when.