Although the baseball establishment generally has been opposed to franchise relocation, Mr. Vincent said after the last vote that he had given Mr. Lurie permission to explore all options, including a move.
Unclear yesterday was how the proposed Giants move would affect plans announced by Mr. Vincent last month to realign the National League divisions.
In a decision opposed by the Chicago Cubs, the commissioner ordered the St. Louis Cardinals and Cubs shifted to the NL West and the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves to the NL East for the 1993 season. Saying Mr. Vincent overstepped the boundaries of the commissioner's authority, the Cubs have challenged the plan in federal court.
In effect, the Giants wouldn't be the first major league team for St. Petersburg.
The St. Louis Cardinals have trained there since 1946, and several other teams have used the site as well.
Last spring, the Orioles moved part of their spring training headquarters there, using Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg as their home field for Grapefruit League games. Orioles officials said they did not expect yesterday's announcement to affect their plans to return to St. Petersburg next spring.