MLB Rumors: Athletics Anger Owners over Fire Sale, Keeping Revenue Sharing Money

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 17, 2022

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22:  General view of the Oakland Athletics logos in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Several MLB owners ripped the Oakland Athletics for fielding a non-competitive team and hoarding revenue-sharing money to turn a profit this season.

“The idea of revenue sharing is not to make money, it’s to field a competitive team,” one owner told Jon Heyman of the New York Post. “That money is supposed to go toward player salaries. [The A's] took the money and put it in their pocket.”

The A's are making $9 million via revenue sharing this season and $20 million in 2023.

Rather than use that money to acquire players, Oakland spent its offseason jettisoning first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Matt Chapman and starting pitchers Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea in trades. The team signed just two players, second baseman Jed Lowrie and catcher Stephen Vogt, for a combined $1.7 million.

The A's were included in the revenue-sharing program on a temporary basis due in large part to their struggles landing a new stadium in the Oakland area. The RingCentral Coliseum opened in 1966 and has been the franchise's home since 1968; it's the fifth-oldest stadium in Major League Baseball.

While ballparks like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium have undergone major overhauls aimed at modernizing the historic fields, the Coliseum is widely regarded as a relic. The park has an extensive history of stadium issues causing game delays, including sewage leaks and power outages.

Some within MLB point out that the Athletics are still losing money despite the revenue-sharing system, thanks in large part due to investments made in attempting to find a new stadium and a lack of revenue at the Coliseum. The A's are averaging only 8,283 fans per game this season, by far the lowest mark in baseball.

Oakland currently sits at 22-43 and is 18 games out of first place in the AL West.