Scott Boras, Matt Chapman and everyone else can only wait so long for the Athletics and their hopes of a new ballpark in the future.
“I think the A’s are in a position where they’re trying to get their stadium figured out, and until they do I’m not sure where they want to go with players,” Boras said Monday to the San Francisco Chronicle's Matt Kawahara. “And obviously the time frame allows them a period of time to do that. We’re going to see them take care of their infrastructure first and then address the player element later, I think.”
Boras made it clear in December of last year at the MLB Winter Meetings that agents and players alike are struggling playing the waiting game with the A's.
"You do have a core group of players who haven’t reached the optimum levels of their value in the baseball sense," Boras said. "It’s something that requires immediate attention rather than waiting for a stadium to arrive."
The super-agent represents many stars in the game, and a key player to the A's future in third baseman Matt Chapman. The 28-year-old was arbitration eligible last year for the first time and is on schedule to become a free agent after the 2023 season.
On Tuesday morning, the Oakland City Council is set to vote on a nonbinding term sheet for the A’s proposed $12 billion waterfront ballpark and development project. Team president Dave Kaval has made it clear it's Howard Terminal or bust for the A's, who could be seeking relocation out of Oakland if it doesn't work out. The A's have played at the Oakland Coliseum since 1968.
However, if the A’s and Oakland do reach a deal, Kaval has said in the past that a new ballpark likely would not open until 2027. That's three years after the A's lease at the Coliseum ends in 2024.
Chapman is batting just .222 this season and leads the AL in strikeouts with 117. He still might be the best defesive third baseman in baseball, but is putting up career lows in batting average, slugging percentage (.375) and OPS (.692).
Boras isn't alone in having his nose to the ground regarding the A's and their search for a new stadium. His client also will have to step it up if he wants the contract he seeks in the next few years.