Regardless of where the A’s actually spend in Sacramento, which players are getting their money?

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The OaksackVegas A’s continue to promise to move toward a “top tier payroll” over the next several years, which raises some obvious questions:

Should one rely on owner John Fisher for expenses? (Not exactly, but more on that shortly.)

Will the free agent join the A’s for their interim stay in Sacramento, which will last from 2025 to at least 2027? (Sure! But only if they lack better options.)

In January, team president Dave Kaval said after arriving in Las Vegas, “We feel like we’re budgeting numbers that are at the high end of the league.” On Monday, he confirmed the A’s intent to spend. “We plan to increase our payroll before moving to Las Vegas, and once we move into our new ballpark, we plan to keep a top-tier payroll,” Kaval said in a statement. athletic,

A person briefed on the A’s plans in January said the team intended to carry the payroll in the $130 million to $150 range during the ramp-up period before relocating to Las Vegas, then move to its new fixed base. More than $170 million was to be paid off after the roof went into disrepair. Stadium. Kaval declined to confirm those numbers at the time.

Granted, any serious analysis of how Fisher intends to more than double the team’s current $61 million payroll is probably pretty much pointless. However, some players say Sacramento’s miniature Triple-A palace would likely be a better fit than the sprawling and dilapidated Oakland Coliseum. So, just for fun, let’s start filling out the OksacVegas roster!

Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger, who can opt out of his contract after this season, was one of several players who claimed to have limited information about the A’s situation. Asked if he would consider joining Fisher’s Mavericks, Bellinger laughed and offered a conditional response based on the lighting system at Sacramento’s Sutter Health Park, which Kaval said would be upgraded. can be done.

“If the lighting is good,” Bellinger said. “Give me good light.”

Toronto Blue Jays infielder Justin Turner, a 16-year veteran who is also a potential free agent, saw the Sacramento experience as a potential upgrade in Oakland. But he too is not able to hear the sound of AK’s siren properly.

“They can play in front of more people. It might feel like a better baseball environment,” Turner said. “Would this be on my top-10 list? Absolutely not. But, I mean, who’s to say it wouldn’t be a better situation?”

Turner has a point. Sutter Health Park has a capacity of 14,014 which includes fixed seats, lawn seating and standing room. The A’s average home attendance over the last three seasons was 8,660, 9,849 and 10,276. This season, through seven games, it is 6,438. When the team was more competitive, the numbers were higher.

“The clubhouse couldn’t be worse than this. A visit to the clubhouse couldn’t be worse. Attendance couldn’t be worse,” Turner said. “And even if the attendance is small, in a small venue, it won’t look as serious as it does in the Coliseum, which is huge.”

The announced attendance for the game between Guardians and Athletics on Sunday, 31 March was 4,118. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

Still, Sutter Health Park’s clubhouses are in the outfield, not under the stands with easy access to the dugouts, the way they are at every major league park. Perhaps a tour of the facility courtesy of A’s first baseman Ryan Noda is in order. Noda, who played the game as a sophomore in Sacramento, gave a list of potential problems to the San Jose Mercury News.

“The concerns? The field, the locker room, the dugouts, the surface — making sure all the safety protocols and everything are up to par. It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of money put into it to make that field a big-league place.

Even Sacramento native, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rhys Hoskins is skeptical. Hoskins loves his hometown and believes residents will support any team playing in the city, even if temporarily. But if he opts out at the end of the season, don’t expect him to call his agent Scott Boras and demand to wear the green and gold.

“I would definitely consider it because the idea of ​​playing at home has always been attractive,” Hoskins said, “but the lack of big league facilities and the product that the organization is offering is not something I want to be.” . A part of.”

But wait, Rice, a ramp-up is imminent! Or so A says.

In reality, Fisher’s history tells us that he is unlikely to engage in deficit spending and invest more in the team than he is taking in, if that. Until the A’s get to Vegas — if they get to Vegas, if they get to Vegas, if, if, if — a significant payroll increase seems far-fetched.

It’s not like their revenues are going to explode in Sacramento.

As part of the move, the A’s modified their local TV deal with NBC Sports California. athletic’s Ivan Dreilich previously reported that the team expected to receive a significant portion of its local rights fee, which was approximately $70 million annually.

Still the numbers will be less.

Game-day revenue could be higher given Sutter Health Park’s smaller capacity, but not by much. And when the novelty wears off, maybe not at all. The good people of Sacramento, accustomed to paying Triple-A ticket prices, may not be thrilled about paying major-league prices for a short-lived, inferior major-league product.

Fisher would receive his usual share of Central Baseball revenues – Sportico estimated the gross number from national media deals, sponsorships and merchandise to exceed $100 million. They will also receive an increased amount in revenue sharing, amounting to approximately $60 million, as the team completes its four-year phaseout and returns to a 100 percent stake. But if Fisher decides to inject some of that extra money into his roster, how will he increase his payroll to the $130 million to $150 million range in Sacramento, then $170 million upon arriving in Vegas?

By overpaying free agents? Taking a bad contract? Going crazy with extensions? Neither of these options would make much sense for a franchise that once prided itself on its efficiency. Furthermore, the notion of any top free agent – ​​from Juan Soto to Alex Bregman, Corbin Burns to Max Fried – emerging as a serious player for the A’s is absurd. And even fewer free agents will have 29 other teams to choose from.

The sequel to “Moneyball”, if anyone is interested in writing it, should definitely write it.

Can’t see A’s expenses. Can’t see players taking money. For the 1,036th time, can’t figure out how this is going to work.

athletic’s Andy McCullough contributed to this story.

(Photo of Sutter Health Park in Sacramento on April 4: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

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