Following a trade that sent two relievers to Washington, Oakland A’s executive president Billy Beane noted how a new ballpark could help the franchise in the future.
On the field, the 2017 season has been a struggle for the A’s. Entering Monday’s action, Oakland is 42-50, good for last place in the American League West and 20 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros. The team took a step in a likely rebuilding process on Sunday by shipping relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle to the Washington Nationals, in exchange for reliever Blake Treinen and a pair of prospects.
More trades could occur over the coming weeks, with the A’s looking to assemble a group of players that could help them contend in the future. Meanwhile, off the field, the A’s continue the process of planning a new ballpark to replace the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
In the aftermath of Sunday’s trade, Beane noted the importance of the ballpark search. Once the ballpark does open, according to Beane, the A’s should generate more revenue, and be in a better position to retain players at the major league level. More from ESPN:
“We need to be disciplined with [a rebuild], particularly with how aligned with what we’re trying to do in the community as far as a stadium. There’s only one way to open a stadium successfully, and that’s with a good, young team,” he told reporters, adding that the franchise under his leadership has “never really committed to a full rebuild.”
Beane has had to tear down the roster of the small-market A’s several times in his 20 years with the franchise, but he said Sunday that there will be a different philosophy once the team has a new ballpark.
“Really what’s been missing the last 20 years is keeping these players,” Beane told reporters. “We need to change that narrative by creating a good team and ultimately committing to keep them around so that when people buy a ticket, they know that the team is going to be around for a few years.”
There have been instances in the past of clubs looking to build a younger roster in the years leading up to a new ballpark, and hoping to build around that group once the facility opens. The Atlanta Braves, for instance, began an extensive rebuilding process during their final seasons at Turner Field in anticipation of this year’s opening of SunTrust Park.
The A’s are continuing to evaluate their options for a new ballpark in Oakland, and there are reportedly multiple site possibilities in the mix.
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