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Willingham extension talks held hostage to ballpark decision


In this article Sustan Slusser reports that Josh Willingham's agent went to Beane and suggested some contract possibilities. it's been apparent for some time that Willingham wants to stay, has no problem hitting in the coliseum, and would be affordable. Beane told the agent that no decisions will be made until they hear from the ballpark commission (i.e, Selig). 

You may have heard Beane in numerous recent interviews that they are expecting a decision very soon. Tittle and others have suggested that the A's ownership and front office wouldn't even be saying this unless they thought they were getting the answer that they want - that is, that they will get the OK to move to San José (what about the vote in SJ?) 

But the article goes on to say that if the A's get the OK to move they will reduce payroll. That likely means not only that they won't sign Willingham (who they can afford no matter what, and whose power is hard to replace), but that they also may trade young players under contract (Cahill? Suzuki? even - gasp - Weeks?) in order to stock up the farm system and prepare for a 2015 opening in San José. Conversely, the article notes that should the answer be "no" they'd likely increase payroll in order to increase attendance at the coliseum and make the team more attractive to a buyer. 

so what's a long time season ticket holder to do? I've sworn that i would not leave the A's, that they'd have to leave me. But it would be a hard sell to support a team that has no commitment to winning.

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