[Josh] Willingham’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told The Chronicle on Saturday that he approached the team last week with various possibilities for a multiyear deal for their top offensive player, and general manager Billy Beane told Sosnick that spending decisions are on hold until a decision comes down about the A’s stadium situation….”We talked about a time frame, given that Billy would like Josh back, but it seems like Billy is sort of hamstrung right now.”
Here the A’s have a key player willing to stay with the club, and the general manager is not allowed to give him a new deal unless the A’s are allowed to move to San Jose.
Of the non-iconic, non-overly-renovated stadiums, the A’s and the Rays have two of the oldest ballparks in Major League Baseball.
Interestingly, the article goes on to speculate that the A’s would cut spending if a move to San Jose is approved. The idea being that the A’s would start fresh and build a contender. And if the move to San Jose is blocked, they would increase spending to make the club more attractive to potential buyers.
How does this impact the Rays? They are unlikely to cut spending in any event. After all, it is hard to go much lower. And the team is a contender now, so there would be no urgency to rebuild.
But if the Rays do feel a move to Tampa is not going to happen, then increasing the payroll could be the first indication that Stuart Sternberg is preparing to sell the team.