San Jose to appeal lawsuit vs. MLB to U.S. Supreme Court

City Council wants to give A's the right to eventually move from Oakland

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to appeal its antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to allow the A's to move from Oakland at some point in the future.

The city has lost two lower court bids challenging the antitrust exemption that allows the San Francisco Giants to block the A's from moving to San Jose. The City Council voted Tuesday to appeal a Jan. 15 ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which followed an earlier ruling by a U.S. District judge in 2013.

Should the Supreme Court agree to hear the case, arguments would be held in the term that begins in October, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and a ruling could be expected by June 2016.

Odds are slim that the Supreme Court will take on the case, however. As the San Jose Mercury noted, the Supreme Court agrees to hear less than one percent of the appeals it receives each year.

But after negotiating with the Giants and Major League Baseball to allow a move south by the A's, San Jose is now exploring every legal avenue. The City Council and A's agreed last year to a seven-year extension to hold a downtown parcel of land in case a ballpark is approved.

The A's signed a new 10-year lease on the Oakland Coliseum last July, but retained the right to opt out of that deal within four years.

MLB allows its teams to only move within their designated territories without seeking permission from the rest of baseball's owners. Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, is in the Giants' designated territory. Thus in order for the A's to move there, they'd need either an agreement from the Giants or approval from three-fourths of MLB's owners, unless San Jose wins an appeal from the Supreme Court.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.