The A's official website, along with AP, are reporting that the A's Management Group is looking to acquire an MLS team should the league decide to expand in San Jose.
MLS League Commish Donald Garber is already making it known that MLS will make San Jose their top priority to expand and place a team in San Jose.
According to some reports, meetings will take place in January over selecting a new investor and securing a stadium plan which is "essential" in getting a new franchise in San Jose.
Now should this means that the A's can get into San Jose or not, I don't know. All I know is that the A's have already put their notice in that they want a team and such a commitment would also mean that they have some semblance of a stadium plan in order to get Garber to the negotiating table. It may have something to do with San Jose's plan of buying parcels in Downtown...
Another thing I'd like to know, as most people would, what is in the Major League Agreement in regards to whether having a team as an extension to your territory rights. The late Doug Pappas found a 1999 copy of the Agreement and found that it stated the following:
3/4 majority in the affected league, plus a majority of clubs in the other league: expansion, sale or transfer of control of a club (except that control passing to a spouse or descendant requires only a majority vote), relocation of a club to a city not within the other league's circuit (transfers into another club's territory require 3/4 majority in both leagues)
Note that to move a team from one city to another within the team's own territory,
there still has to be a vote on it. That is astonishing that if Selig is to be believed that the territories are supposedly so sacred, than why can't a club do what it pleases within their own area? Not only that, but there has to be a simple majority in the other league.
The Giants' territory includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Marin Counties, plus Santa Clara County with respect to another major league team.
EDIT: A hat-tip goes out to the folks at the Business of Baseball
website for having the 2005 version of the Major League Agreement. In that version, the above phrase has been changed to: "provided, however, that with respect to all Major league Clubs, Santa Clara County shall also be included."
What exactly does that last phrase mean? It's not as if it has anything to do with a different sports league because if so, San Francisco would be included on account of the 49ers being there. And the A's have no such term under MLB's definition of their territory. What gets me is that in the 2005 version, it seems as if the Giants have a claim to all other counties except for Santa Clara, unless there is an MLB team trying to move in. Why is it that SC County is not just lumped together with the rest of the territories? There has to be some special rights that the Giants have in the other counties that they do not in Santa Clara.
As additional territorial protection, Rule 52 allows a major league club to block any other major or minor league clubs from playing within 15 miles of its territory without permission.
Are the clubs in question teams that only play baseball? One would assume this has to refer to independent leagues as "other major leagues" and "minor league clubs" as in MLB-affiliated minor league teams. Otherwise, the Astros would probably be objecting to the new MLS franchise in their city.
I hope to get some more answers here because there has to be a reason why the A's made it so pronounced that they were going to get an MLS team. Even if they were going for an angle in which they would be viewed in a positive light by the voters of San Jose for rescuing soccer, it wouldn't help them much even if they got a stadium bond because MLB would have to vote on the relocation matter.
Either there has been a change in the Major League Agreement, Wolff is going to put Selig and MLB in a bad light, or Selig wants MLB to have an affiliation with MLS and this would be the best way of doing so.