OAKLAND (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have begun exclusive negotiations with the city of Mesa, Ariz., to switch their spring training site from Phoenix.

That exclusivity period lasts through May 15, 2012.

The A’s say they will discuss with Mesa a move of the team’s spring and year-round minor league operations to Hohokam Park and Fitch Park in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix where the Chicago Cubs train.

Each side will negotiate only with each other and not have any third-party contact. The negotiating window can be extended by mutual agreement and the approval of the Mesa City Council.

Oakland originally held spring training in Mesa after moving from Florida before the 1969 season and spent 10 years there. The A’s moved to Scottsdale in 1979 and have trained in Phoenix since 1982, with that agreement running through 2014.


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