Oakland A’s trying to find facility for taxi squad
By David Hill
Due to ongoing complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oakland A’s are still looking for a facility for their taxi squad.
In theory, the easiest part of putting together a taxi squad for each team would involve finding a facility to practice. Most teams have minor league parks within a reasonable distance of their major league club, allowing a safe place for those players to remain if called upon.
The Oakland A’s seemingly have the perfect place for their taxi squad. Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports, is 66.6 miles away from the Oakland Alameda County Colesium, making that location seemingly perfect.
Instead, the A’s face a myriad of issues in their quest to find a facility. Different counties in California have different rules and ordinances pertaining to the pandemic, causing additional problems. Stockton is still being considered as a site for the taxi squad, as well as several other locations.
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As the A’s navigate those issues, they are also racing the clock. Provided that nothing goes wrong from here on out, the season is slated to begin on July 24, less than three weeks away. There is the matter of restarting training camp for those players, getting them back up to speed and ready to go should they be called upon.
It is not just the need to get those players ready for action. Top prospects such as Robert Pauson and Tyler Soderstrom are being brought on the 60 man roster as well. Although they are highly unlikely to receive any major league playing time this year, it is still a chance to continue their development.
That may be the biggest challenge at this point. The stadium situation will eventually be figured out, either in Stockton or elsewhere. The different towns and counties could make an exception to those ordinances for the A’s to have their taxi squad, just as Toronto made for the Blue Jays to play in Canada.
The Oakland A’s are racing against time in their quest to find a facility for their taxi squad. That uncertainty is also holding up the development of some of their top prospects.