Yanks first to offer streaming in-market

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Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports
that the Yankees will be the first team to offer streaming of games
within their home market. The deal reached between the YES Network and
Major League Baseball Advanced Media will let fans in the New York
media market buy a subscription to Yankees games that they can stream
on laptops, personal computers or other devices in the office or the
home. Fans can expect to see similar models in other media markets
before long.

Until now, MLB.tv has limited access of their subscribers to
out-of-market games in order to protect the rights of regional sports
networks and cable companies. It’s likely to be a huge boon for YES, as
the New York market expands to New Jersey, Connecticut and even parts
of Pennsylvania.

The only annoying catch is that those who purchase the in-market
subscription must also be subscribers of the expanded basic service on
Cablevision that includes YES Network. The agreement certainly marks
progress, as an increasingly mobile society would love the option to
watch a Yankees game on their wireless internet connection wherever
they may roam.

However, one of the great things about MLB.tv is the ability to have it
without also having to purchase a cable subscription. I believe and
hope it won’t be long before these networks bypass the cable companies
and offer these sorts of subscriptions directly to the fans. They can
only delay progress for so long.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.

Report: Rangers agree to six-year extension with Rougned Odor

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The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.

It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.