The city of San Jose's antitrust claims against Major League Baseball were dismissed Friday by a federal judge, who allowed the city to pursue allegations of contract interference in connection with the Oakland Athletics' stalled relocation plans.
U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose ruled that MLB's antitrust exemption, created by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922, barred most of the claims in San Jose's lawsuit. The city filed the lawsuit in June, accusing MLB of conspiring to stop the team's proposal to move to a planned ballpark in downtown San Jose.
MLB defines San Jose and its suburbs in Santa Clara County as the exclusive territory of the San Francisco Giants.
Whyte rejected San Jose's contention that the antitrust exemption was limited to the player reserve system and ruled it includes MLB's "business interests," such as relocation issues.
The Supreme Court last upheld the exemption in the 1972 Curt Flood case, when the court said it was up to Congress to change the exemption. Whyte said the fact that Congress altered the exemption in the 1998 Curt Flood Act only with respect to the employment of major league players was evidence that Congress did not wish to alter it for baseball's other business.
San Jose's outsider lawyer, Joe Cotchett, said he plans to appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The judge did allow San Jose to pursue claims MLB interfered with the city's contract with the A's, which involves an option to purchase downtown land for a new ballpark.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig established a committee in March 2009 to study the issue and says the group remains at work.
Rangers re-sign Frasor to 1-year deal
Reliever Jason Frasor has agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year deal to remain with the Texas Rangers rather than become a free agent.
The 36-year-old right-hander went 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 61 appearances in his first season with the Rangers. Opponents hit a career-low .203 against him.
Kershaw wins Spahn award for top lefty
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has been selected the winner of the 2013 Warren Spahn Award.
The award is presented by the Oklahoma City Bricktown Rotary Club and the Jim Thorpe Association to the top left-handed pitcher in the Major Leagues. It's named for Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, whose 363 career wins are the most by a left-hander.
Kershaw went 16-9 in 2013 with 232 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA. He also won the award in 2011.