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San Francisco buys quarter stake in San Jose Giants

The San Francisco Giants are buying 25 percent of the San Jose Giants, a move the team says is purely coincidental to Oakland’s interest in San Jose; city officials are not pleased.The San Francisco Giants are buying a 25 percent share of the San Jose Giants (High Class A; California League), in a move both sides are saying has nothing to do with Oakland’s interest in moving to downtown San Jose.

The purchase will be announced at a press conference today.

It’s not a big-buck purchase; with Cal League franchises priced around $6 million or less these days (the sale of the Lancaster JetHawks reportedly went for less than $6 million, with the previous ownership financing part of the transaction, while Brett Sports reportedly paid around $6 million for Rancho Cucamonga), the Giants probably are paying $1.5 million or so for their stake in the team.

Though the timing is suspicious, we’re guessing the two Giants teams are correct in saying this move has everything to do with player development and minor-league operations and nothing to do with the A’s. In terms of baseball territories, the presence of the San Jose Giants is meaningless to any move Oakland may make; the only territorial issue is San Francisco’s claim on the area.

Plus, it also gives the San Francisco Giants a stronger say in where the San Jose Giants move should the A’s move to town. We spent some time looking at Cal League markets the other day, and realistically there aren’t many places for a Cal League team to move these days with Reno now a Class AAA market. Northern California — Redding and Chico, specifically — would seem to be the only viable candidates for any future Cal League moves.

San Jose city officials are not pleased with the purchase; we’re told no elected official will be at today’s press conference.

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