Oakland A's one step closer to moving to San Jose

Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour, top, and catcher Derek Norris celebrate after their 12-5 win over the Texas Rangers in a baseball game, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland, Calif. The A's clinch the AL West title with the win. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

February 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff has made it no secret he wants to move the team to the Bay Area's largest city. And now for the first time, Major League Baseball has released guidelines that could allow the them to move to San Jose.

MLB's guidelines could be a roadmap for any future move by the A's but it may be a road full of potholes. The team may not be ready to pack their bags yet, but there are indicators that they could be one step closer to moving.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is pleased to hear the news. "Any activity out of the commissioner's office, I think is good. We will try to get the commissioner to make a decision. Unfortunately, it's taken a long time. So if there is any movement, that's a good sign," he said.

However, it is no secret MLB has concerns about the territorial rights the San Francisco Giants hold in the South Bay. The Giants have said they still oppose the A's relocating to the area.

South Bay baseball fans think "San Jose A's" has a nice ring to it. "Oakland A's, it sounds good but why not have them in San Jose? I'm from San Jose," said baseball fan Ashley Sanders.

But some fans feel the team needs to stay where it is. "Oakland A's should stay at Oakland. That's where they belong and they've been there for many years. And just like the Oakland Raiders, they move so many times and they still come back," said Phillipe Quinonez.

The A's have already pledged to pay $500 million for a new ballpark in downtown San Jose, two blocks from the Shark Tank. "They are going to spend $500 million and generate a lot of tax revenues for us so I'm very positive on it. The people are supportive so we are ready to go, but Major League Baseball works in mysterious ways," said Reed.

Save Oakland Sports, a collection of East Bay business leaders opposes the move. It wants to know how a downtown San Jose stadium will be funded and also wants to know how the territorial rights with the Giants would be resolved. It's a complicated issue that could wind up in court.

The A's and Giants have yet to officially comment on these latest developments.