SAN JOSE — Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig formally informed the A's this summer that the team's bid to move San Jose had been denied.
The San Jose Mercury News reported Saturday that a letter from Selig to the team surfaced in a federal court filing Friday night. The MLB disclosed the letter's existence as part of its legal argument to dismiss what remains of an antitrust lawsuit San Jose filed against the league over the A's future stadium plans. The letter itself wasn't made public.
San Jose officials have been trying for years to lure the A's south, which the Giants oppose because of their territorial rights to the region.
The court filing says Selig sent the letter to the club on June 17. The next day, San Jose sued, accusing the MLB of antitrust violations.
Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff declined to comment on Selig's memo. He told the paper that the club is still fighting to relocate to San Jose.
“All I can tell you is we're still proceeding as we've always done,” Wolff told the newspaper.
San Jose's lawyer, Joe Cotchett, said the city has yet to receive a copy of Selig's letter. He said the disclosure of its existence shows the MLB's intent to stymie the A's move to San Jose.
“I think it clearly shows Major League Baseball's intent here,” Cotchett told the paper.
MLB lawyer John Keker declined to comment.
The court filing Friday said that Selig “formally notified the Athletics' ownership that he was not satisfied with the club's relocation proposal.”
It's the first public indication that the MLB formally opposed the A's bid to move from the aging home it shares with the Raiders to San Jose, which is about 45 miles south of San Francisco.
The city's lawsuit alleges San Jose's failure to obtain the stadium would result in a loss of $1.8 billion in direct spending over 30 years. It calls on the court to find the MLB in violation of antitrust laws and to prevent it from blocking the A's move. It also seeks damages.