Great piece at Newballpark.org on the likely options for San Francisco Giants owner Bill Neukom in his never-ending standoff with Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff over the A’s future home. As site proprietor Marine Layer writes, Neukom can basically go three ways:
- Refuse to bargain over territorial rights to San Jose, and hope the A’s move out of town. He asserts that Neukom would then be forced to compensate Wolff for the territorial rights to the East Bay; I’m less certain that that’s part of MLB bylaws, but I’m sure that Wolff would attempt to work that into any deal to relocate.
- Refuse to bargain, and keep paying revenue sharing to the A’s while the team stays put in Oakland.
- Take a payoff from Wolff to allow the A’s to move to San Jose. Newballpark.org estimates the cost to the Giants as maybe $12.5 million a year in lost revenues, which would mean an up-front payment in the $100-150m range should be enough to make it worth Neukom’s while (caution: extremely back-of-the-envelope math at work here). The question, as I’ve raised here before, is whether that kind of price tag would be worth Wolff’s while — presumably not, or else the A’s wouldn’t be stuck in this holding pattern.
Marine Layer concludes that “No matter what Neukom decides, it looks like he‚Äôll have to pay,” which is a bit harsh: He’d get benefits from each scenario as well, don’t forget (sole rights to the Bay Area, a continued monopoly on all the rich bits of the region, or a pile of territorial rights cash, respectively). But clearly Neukom doesn’t see Door #3 as a preferred option, at least not at the price Wolff is willing to pay. Of such decision matrices is gridlock made.