Christmas came a day early for Oakland A's fans busy scratching their heads wondering why the team was trading all its players -- again.
Respected USA Today baseball writer, Bob Nightengale, sent the Twittersphere atweet over the weekend by sending a tweet on Christmas Eve that all but explained what most A's fans were thinking.
"All signs and top #MLB sources say that the #Athletics will be granted permission by Feb to move to San Jose," he tweeted.
Nightengale would not reveal his sources in subsequent interviews with various national media outlets but he said that while permission to move from MLB is "definite" that drive down the 880 would still have to be ratified by 3/4 vote of MLB team owners.
The A's have also "received assurances" that they will be given formal permission to move to San Jose, according to Nightengale.
The issue however about territorial rights -- something the San Francisco Giants' own and have no intention to give back -- still needs to be worked out as well.
Nightengale said the A's will most likely end up paying a dollar amount to the Giants but he doesn't believe that it will approach the $100 million figure that the Washington Nationals reportedly paid the Baltimore Orioles when the team moved from Montreal.
The Giants have repeatedly expressed the team's opposition to an A's move to San Jose. But those rights initially belonged to the A's.
In 1995, then Oakland owner Steve Schott granted territorial control of Santa Clara County to the Giants to help keep the team in the Bay Area.
The A's are easily expected to earn approval from the owners of Major League Baseball when they go to a vote.
Earlier this month, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said Oakland was "past its time" to try and keep the A's.
"I'm totally supportive of Lew getting a new ballpark and going to San Jose," White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf told The San Francisco Chronicle. "He needs to be there. It has to come to a head soon."
A's fans had been upset by recent moves by General Manager Billy Beane to trade the cornerstones of his young franchise for more prospects.
The team recently dealt pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez for prospects. Both players had manageable salaries but the A's are clearly looking towards a future in San Jose.