Two weeks ago I pointed out that Jeffrey Loria’s threat to move the Marlins to San Antonio isn’t credible. Today, Maury Brown summarizes all of the prospective baseball markets and why none of them are viable alternatives at The Hardball Times.
When looking over this research, it becomes clear that relocation for franchises, at this time, is not favorable. The economics of franchises in existing markets is much better than the last time a serious discussion on relocation occurred, which places less stress and strain on clubs to force themselves into changing markets.
Also relevant to the discussion is my post The Extortion Game from two years ago.
This leads me to believe that MLB is more likely to use available market for expansion rather than extortion….If the probability of departure is perceived to be greater than the actual probability, then extortion may be preferable to expansion. But, if cities overestimate the probability of team relocation, then leaving a city open for extortion is not necessary. Owners can extract subsidies by threatening to move the team to unqualified markets AND obtain revenues from expanding into a qualified market.
Sorry for the clip show.