MLB rumors: Yankees FA spoiled contract, Manfred called out, more

Brian Cashman, Yankees (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Brian Cashman, Yankees (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Rob Manfred
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters before the Milwaukee Brewers game against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, May 25, 2023 at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wis. /

Rob Manfred, MLB get exposed on Oakland handcuffs

The narrative thus far on the Oakland Athletics and their now-officially planned move to Las Vegas has been that the city of Oakland has given them no choice, refusing to cooperate in the avenue of tax breaks, funding, etc. to allow the organization to pursue stadium upgrades or entirely new stadium options in the Bay Area.

The mayor of Oakland, Sheng Thao, met with Rob Manfred and made it clear exactly how much the city prefers that the Athletics stay in the city.

Thao, in a Q&A with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, said the main point in meeting with Manfred in Seattle at MLB’s All-Star Weekend festivities was to make sure she had a direct line and had provided the city’s proposal to Manfred (subscription required) as well as the relocation committee.

Thao also said she was willing, still, to improve the offer if it meant keeping the A’s in Oakland.

Manfred has stood behind owner John Fisher, claiming he had no choice other than to move the team.

Now, it looks like those claims are, at the very least, incomplete excuses, and possibly poor excuses all around.

Previously, Thao’s office made a statement denying that there wasn’t community support for the team to remain in Oakland:

"“There was a very concrete proposal under discussion and Oakland had gone above and beyond to clear hurdles, including securing funding for infrastructure, providing an environmental review, and working with other agencies to finalize approvals.”"

Thao had previously not met with Manfred face-to-face. It’s unclear how much this will do to slow or stop the move to Vegas, and at this point it feels like a longshot for the A’s to ultimately stay in the area.

The mayor told Rosenthal that the city would explore an expansion team bid in the future to return MLB to the city if the A’s do, in fact, move to Vegas.