Fans wearing face masks wait to enter the Oakland Coliseum for a game between the Athletics and the Houston Astros. The A’s have unsuccessfully tried to get a new ballpark in Oakland, and MLB has given its OK for the team to explore relocation. Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif.  — Major League Baseball instructed the Athletics to explore relocation options as the team tries to secure a new ballpark it hopes will keep the club in Oakland long-term.

MLB released a statement Tuesday expressing its longtime determination that the current Coliseum site is “not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.”

“MLB is concerned with the rate of progress on the A’s new ballpark effort with local officials and other stakeholders in Oakland,” MLB said. “The A’s have worked very hard to advance a new ballpark in downtown Oakland for the last four years, investing significant resources while facing multiple roadblocks. We know they remain deeply committed to succeeding in Oakland, and with two other sports franchises recently leaving the community, their commitment to Oakland is now more important than ever.”

In November 2018, the A’s announced they had found a waterfront location for their ballpark, with picturesque views toward San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and Port of Oakland. The goal had been to open in 2023.

A’s owner John Fisher said in a statement Tuesday he will honor MLB’s instructions but remains committed to continuing to pursue the waterfront ballpark proposed for construction in the city’s Howard Terminal location, close to the popular Jack London Square neighborhood.

“The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” Fisher said. “Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”

The proposed ballpark site is about 6 miles from the Coliseum and there is no mass transit. The A’s and city have said they plan to build a gondola that would go from the waterfront area of ballpark over Interstate 880 to downtown.

The Athletics have moved twice since the franchise was founded in Philadelphia, arriving in Kansas City for the 1955 season and in Oakland for the 1968 season. Just two MLB teams have moved in the past half-century: The expansion Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers for the 1972 season and the Montreal Expos transformed into the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has said MLB will not consider expansion until the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays get new ballparks.

 

Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann retired Tuesday, saying, “My mind was still in it, but my body wasn’t. … I felt like it was the right thing to do at this time, to call it a career.” Paul Sancya/Associated Press

BREWERS: Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann retired Tuesday two appearances into his 13th season in the major leagues, ending a career in which the two-time All-Star pitched the Washington Nationals’ first no-hitter.

Zimmermann went 95-91 with a 4.07 ERA. He was an NL All-Star in 2013 and ’14 while with the Nationals. The 34-year-old right-hander from Auburndale, Wisconsin, made two relief appearances for his home-state team this season and had a 0-0 record with a 7.94 ERA.

“My mind was still in it, but my body wasn’t,” Zimmermann said Tuesday. “Living out of suitcases half the year. I felt like it was the right thing to do at this time, to call it a career. I’m happy to start the next chapter of my life.”

Zimmermann thanked the Nationals, Detroit Tigers and Brewers for giving him the opportunity to play and also expressed gratitude to all his friends, teammates and family members.

He initially planned to stop pitching a little earlier.

After signing a minor league deal with the Brewers in February and failing to make the team’s initial major league roster, Zimmermann reported to the team’s alternate site in Appleton but decided at the end of April to retire. He changed his mind when the Brewers promote him to the big leagues on April 29 after multiple pitchers had gone on the injured list. That triggered a one-year contract with a $1 million salary while in the major leagues.

“It was pretty crazy how it happened,” Zimmermann said. “I was basically retired for a couple hours when they gave me a call and say they needed some help so I came down, gave them a few innings and tried to bridge the gap because they had a lot of IL guys. I knew I wouldn’t be there long, but I wanted to be able to help them out and have those other guys get healthy. At this point, there’s a lot of them getting healthier and ready to come back.”

Zimmermann’s greatest success came with Washington, where his rise coincided with the Nationals’ emergence from perennial last-place team to regular playoff participant. The Nationals were producing their second straight season of 100-plus losses when Zimmermann broke into the majors in 2009. He was a key part of Washington’s rotation when the Nationals won NL East titles in 2012 and 2014.

Zimmermann signed a $110 million, five-year contract with the Detroit Tigers after the 2015 season but couldn’t come close to matching the success he produced in Washington.

After going 70-50 with a 3.32 ERA in seven years with the Nationals, Zimmermann was 25-41 with a 5.63 ERA in five years with Detroit. He went 1-13 with a 6.94 ERA in 2019 and pitched in only three games in 2020 due to a forearm injury.

YANKEES: Major league home run champion Luke Voit was activated from the 10-day injured list by New York and was set to make his season debut against the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

The 30-year-old had surgery March 29 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and hit .389 (7 for 18) with two doubles and three homers during a five-game injury rehabilitation assignment from May 4-9 with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Voit missed the first 34 games of the Yankees, who went 18-16. He batted .277 last season with 22 homers and 52 RBI in 213 at-bats over 56 games.

New York first basemen hit .153 (19 for 124) in his absence with three homers, 10 RBI, 36 strikeouts and 17 walks.

Third-base coach Phil Nevin is away from the team after a positive COVID-19 test.

New York announced the positive test for Nevin, who is fully vaccinated, about two hours before the scheduled first pitch Tuesday night at Tampa Bay.

Nevin is under quarantine protocol in nearby Tampa. Under Major League Baseball’s guidance and advice, and with its assistance, additional testing and contact tracing are ongoing.

“He’s doing OK,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said.

Several other coaches are expected to miss the game due to contact tracing, but Boone said the contact tracing does not include any players.

“We have a few other staff, coaches that are still pending and we don’t have confirmation on,” Boone said. “There’s a few people that we sent home just as a precaution to make sure. We’re doing all we can to stay healthy. A little bit of a skeleton staff but nothing we can’t handle.”

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza replaced Nevin as third-base coach, and minor league coordinator Mario Garza filled in as first-base coach for Reggie Willits.

The Yankees on April 30 were able to relax MLB protocols after reaching an 85% vaccination rate among players and staff much as managers, coaches and athletic trainers. The team was talking with MLB officials about the situation.

CUBS: Chicago placed outfielder Jake Marisnick on the 10-day injured list Tuesday and recalled reliever Brad Wieck from Triple-A Iowa.

Marisnick is dealing with a right hamstring strain. He got hurt in the first inning of Sunday’s 6-5 loss to Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old Marisnick is hitting .264 with four homers and 14 RBI in 27 games in his first season with Chicago. He agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract in February.

Wieck is beginning his second stint with Chicago this season. The left-hander worked a scoreless inning at Milwaukee on April 12.

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME: Jeff Idelson is returning to baseball’s Hall of Fame as interim president. The 56-year-old succeeded Dale Petroskey as Hall president in 2008 and retired on June 24, 2019, when he was replaced by former Los Angeles Angels executive Tim Mead.

Mead announced on April 16 that he was resigning as of mid-May. Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said Tuesday that Idelson will return as interim president on Saturday and serve through Aug. 15. The Hall’s board appointed a search committee for a new president. The group includes Clark, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Harvey Schiller, former YankeeNets CEO and U.S. Olympic Committee executive director.

Idelson joined the Hall staff in 1994 as director of public relations and promotions and was promoted to vice president of communications and education. Idelson, who is from West Newton, Massachusetts, began his professional career with the Boston Red Sox in 1986, then was the New York Yankees’ director of media relations and publicity from 1989-93.

BRAVES: Right-hander Tanner Roark has signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.

The 34-year-old was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays on April 30 with a 6.43 ERA in one start and two relief appearances. He was 2-3 with a 6.80 ERA in 11 starts for Toronto last year.

Roark is 76-68 with a 3.85 ERA in nine seasons, including six with Washington. He has won at least 10 games in four seasons, including 2016, when he was 16-10 with a 2.83 ERA for the Nationals.

In another move, the Braves claimed 28-year-old right-hander Jay Flaa on waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. Flaa appeared in only one game for Baltimore.

PADRES: Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was among three players the Padres added to the injured list due to health and safety protocols.

Joining Tatis on the list were utility players Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo, the Padres announced before their game at Colorado. San Diego was expected to make corresponding moves later in the day.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.