SEATTLE — The Oakland Athletics have started the process of applying to Major League Baseball to move to Las Vegas.

MLB last month established a relocation committee to evaluate the move, a group headed by Milwaukee Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio. Philadelphia Phillies CEO John Middleton and Kansas City Royals CEO John Sherman also are on the committee.

“They have begun to submit information related to their relocation application,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “It’s not complete at this point.”

Nevada’s Legislature approved providing $380 million in public financing for a proposed $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark with a retractable roof on the Tropicana hotel site of the Las Vegas Strip. The new venue would be close to Allegiant Stadium, where the NFL’s Oakland Raiders moved to in 2020, and T-Mobile Arena, where the newly crowned Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights started play in 2017 as an expansion team.

A move would have to be approved by at least 75% of the 30 major league teams in a vote.

Las Vegas would become the fourth home for a franchise that started in Philadelphia in 1901 (through 1954), moved to Kansas City for 13 seasons and arrived in Oakland in 1968.


The team’s lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. It remains unclear where the team would play until a new ballpark opens in Las Vegas.

“Our relocation guidelines actually spell out pretty clearly what needs to be included in your application. One of the things that you have to include is what’s going to happen during the interim period,” Manfred said. “They have not made a submission on that topic yet.”

At 25-67, the A’s have the worst record in the major leagues and are on pace to finish 44-118, the worst record since the 2003 Detroit Tigers lost 119 games.

Oakland, with a major league-low $57.8 million Opening-Day payroll, is averaging a major league-low 10,089 attendance through 44 home games, up from 8,410 at a similar point last year. The A’s have had 26 home games drawing under 10,000, including a low of 2,064 against Arizona on May 15.

Since the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers for 1972, the only team to relocate has been the Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005.

Manfred said MLB will consider expansion only after the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays obtain new ballparks.


PRISTINE WHITE baseballs that would not require rubbing are under consideration by Major League Baseball as a way to solve the issue of pitchers using sticky substances for better grip.

“We continue to work with the people at Dow Chemical on developing a tacky ball,” Commissioner Ron Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “It would literally eliminate all — well, not all — but many of the variables in the current process. It would come out of a sealed foil pouch at the ballpark. No individual mudding.”

MLB executive vice president Morgan Sword said the balls were tested in the first half of this season in the Double-A Southern League. The balls would retain colored stitches.

“Like everything in baseball, when you inch towards a solution, you figure out another problem,” Manfred said. “The baseball, if we get there with the Dow people, would be a pearl, right? A pure white baseball. I think if you take hitters and pitchers out front here and ask ’em what they think of a pure white baseball, you’re going to find out that it’s a pretty controversial topic. So not only do we have the science that we’re continuing to work on but we’re going to have to get over that sort of policy issue of: Is a pure white baseball a good thing?”

Five pitchers have been suspended for 10 games each since MLB began its crackdown on banned grip substances in June 2021 by instituting regular inspections by umpires.

Seattle’s Hector Santiago and Arizona’s Caleb Smith served suspensions in 2021 and three were disciplined this season: the Mets’ Max Scherzer, the Yankees’ Domingo Germán on May 17 and the Mets’ Drew Smith on June 14.


“The suspensions that we have had would fall into the category of clear-to-egregious violations,” Manfred said. “I understand that feeling someone’s hand is inherently subjective. I think this is an area where umpires, again, with a difficult topic, have shown great judgment and discretion. I think gray areas, players have definitely been given the benefit of the doubt.”

Baseballs currently are rubbed with mud to make them less slick. MLB standardized rubbing procedures among the 30 teams last year.

MANFRED WILL consider increasing time on the pitch clock for the postseason but is reluctant to adjust an innovation the sport considers a great success.

In the first season of the clock, the average time of a nine-inning game is 2 hours, 38 minutes, on track to be the fastest since 1984. It is down from 3:04 last year and 3:09 in 2021, the last season before PitchCom was introduced.

“We’re going to continue to talk to the players,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “I think you ought to play the postseason the way you play the regular season. There’s exceptions. I’m open-minded on that topic.”

The clock is set at 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds with runners. There also are restrictions on defensive shifts and limits on pitcher disengagements.


“I don’t believe there’s any player, nor do I believe there are too many folks that want to have a new rule dramatically affect a game in a pennant chase or in the playoffs,” union head Tony Clark told the BBWAA. “Players believe and we’ve been pretty consistent with this, that there are some adjustments that could be beneficial in the grand scheme of things so that we’re not having a conversation about a new rule and instead focused in on the game being played.”

MLB has a majority of the 11-member competition committee, which includes four players.

“We are comfortable with the way the clock and the violations, particularly late in the game in high-leverage situations we’ve been watching, have been managed,” Manfred said.

There were 721 violations through July 4, of which 501 were by pitchers, 208 by batters and 12 by catchers. Philadelphia’s Craig Kimbrel lead currently with 11 violations, followed by Toronto’s Chris Bassitt with nine and San Diego’s Joe Musgrove with seven.

“In a big spot,” Kimbrel said, “if it’s 1-2, 0-2, I’m really thinking about my pitch and wanting to make a good pitch. I’m not going to rush just to get the pitch off. I’d rather take the ball.”

Left-handed batters are hitting .248, up 13 points through the similar point last season. Righties are hitting .248, up one point, leaving the overall batting average up six points.
Runs per game have increased to 9.1 from 8.7 and steals per game to 1.4 from 1.0.


Average attendance of 28,404 is up 8.1% from a similar time last year and on track to be the highest since 2018 and MLB says the median age of ticket buyers is down 3 years from 2022. This is the first season since 2000 with a balanced schedule.

MANFRED HAS has no intention of altering Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball, and said the sport’s commercial deals with gambling companies have no impact on the status of the career hits leader.

Rose agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation for Major League Baseball by lawyer John Dowd found Rose placed numerous bets on the Cincinnati Reds to win from 1985-87 while playing for and managing the team.

The Hall of Fame’s board decided in 1991 that players on the permanently ineligible list also may not appear on the Hall ballot. Rose asked the Hall in 2016 to change the rule.

Rose applied for reinstatement in 1997 and met with Commissioner Bud Selig in 2002, but Selig never ruled on Rose’s application. Manfred succeeded Selig in 2015 and rejected Rose’s application.

ALL-STAR GAME:  The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs are under consideration for upcoming All-Star Games.


Next year’s game is scheduled for the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington, and the 2026 game will be at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park to mark the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

The 2021 All-Star Game was awarded to Atlanta’s Truist Park by Major League Baseball in 2019 but in April 2021 was moved to Denver’s Coors Field following objections to sweeping changes to Georgia’s voting laws.

“Atlanta is in the mix of clubs for the ’25 All-Star Game,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I’m not prepared to go past that for right now.”

Chicago’s Wrigley Field last hosted the All-Stars in 1990.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.