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Athletics rumors: MLB lays out criteria for San Jose relocation

MLB has given the Oakland Athletics "tentative guidelines" for a move into the Silicon Valley.

It's that way...
It's that way...
Ezra Shaw

It's no guarantee that the Oakland Athletics will ever actually be able to move to and build a stadium in San Jose, but the criteria for a potential relocation to the Silicon Valley has been laid out by MLB nonetheless, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

The commissioner's office has provided the Oakland Athletics with tentative guidelines for a potential move to San Jose, according to three people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it.

The existence of the guidelines does not necessarily mean the A's will move to San Jose soon, or at all.

However, if the A's can satisfy the concerns of the league office, Commissioner Bud Selig could let club owners decide whether to approve the move.

It's uncertain what the league's specific guidelines for Oakland are, but Shaikin's sources tell him that commissioner's office is somewhat worried about the "viability of the proposed San Jose ballpark site and the financial projections offered by the A's in support of the move." The club has promised to pay $500 million for a new stadium in San Jose.

The San Francisco Giants claim territorial rights for all of Santa Clara county -- which includes San Jose -- so, even if the A's are able to satisfy all of the league's guidelines, they would be in for a bit of a battle.

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Oakland would need to get approval from 75 percent of the league to override the Giants' claim to the territory, meaning San Francisco needs only seven other teams to oppose the move to keep the Silicon Valley to themselves. The Giants and anyone else can also file suit to halt the project.

If a move were to be approved -- the commissioner can veto a proposal even with 75 percent of the team votes -- then, per Rule 1, the A's would have to pay the Giants a "sum of money as the Commissioner deems appropriate" to compensate for the potential loss in revenue.

In any case, it's unlikely the A's will move before 2018 because of a standing deal with officials at the Oakland Coliseum.