A’s Move in Works and a Cheap OF Option is Off the Board
The A’s look like they may be moving in 2014 – no, not the big long anticipated move to San Jose, but rather their Spring Training facility. Gary Nelson of the Arizona Republic reported today that,
“The Oakland Athletics are expected to announce shortly that they are negotiating with Mesa to move their spring-training operations to that city’s Hohokam Stadium.”
The Chicago Cubs of course are leaving Hohokam in favor of a new park in Mesa in 2014. The A’s meanwhile have called Phoenix Municipal Stadium home since 1982. While lots of other teams in the Valley of the Sun, are getting brand new stadiums, the A’s look to move into an previously occupied one, sort of fitting for our little baseball team isn’t it? Can’t say this makes much of a difference to me having been to neither stadium. Mesa is 18 miles further than Phoenix for me, so that could prove a minor irritation. For what it is worth the very cool Ballpark Reviews rates Hohokam at a B- whereas Muni gets a B.
In an otherwise very slow weekend of A’s related news, this one doesn’t really count as A’s related but Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker tweeted that he
“Heard from a source: Matt Murton is headed back to Hanshin for next year.”
Murton of course is a former Oakland Athletic, having spent nine games of the 2008 season in the Green and Gold posting -0.2 WAR. Murton came to Oakland from the Chicago Cubs along with Josh Donaldson, Sean Gallagher and Eric Patterson in the deal that sent Chad Gaudin and more importantly Rich Harden to the North Side before the 2008 deadline. Before the 2009 campaign could begin he was traded to Colorado for Corey Wimberly ending his short tenure with Oakland. Since then however, Murton who last played MLB ball in 2009 has played in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers of the Central League where he broke Ichiro Suzuki‘s single-season hit record in his first NPB season. Last season for Hanshin he posted a .311/.339/.423 slash line with 13 home runs in 142 games, still solid but down from his stellar 2010 when he went .349/.395/.499 with 17 home runs in 144 contests. There has been some discussion that Murton might return stateside and be a nice budget pickup option for clubs stateside, and I had envisioned him as someone the A’s could turn to to fill one of their corner outfield spots.