Padres close to new television contract with FOX Sports

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Padres chief executive officer Jeff Moorad has said repeatedly that the team’s next television deal would lead to a significant increase in revenue and payroll, and it looks like that deal will be with FOX Sports.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that “the Padres and Fox Sports Regional Networks are very close to an agreement in principle for a new network called Fox Sports San Diego to carry Padres games beginning with the 2012 season.”

MLB must sign off on the deal, but that’s expected to be a formality.

Padres games have been on Channel 4 San Diego for the past 15 years, but with the contract ending this season the assumption has always been that the team would find a new broadcast partner. According to Posner the Padres currently generate about $16 million per season in television revenue. Moorad has said that next season’s payroll will rise to at least $50 million and the Padres intend to be in the $70 million range eventually, although by the time that happens $70 million will likely be among MLB’s lowest payrolls.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.