New home for Padres games, FOX Sports San Diego, to launch early next month

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Reports vary about the exact details of the Padres’ new television contract, but everyone seems to agree that it’ll be a massive deal and Jay Posner of the San Diego Union Tribune says the team’s new home, FOX Sports San Diego, will launch in early March.

Nothing is official yet, in part because MLB must approve the contract and FOX Sports San Diego is still working on getting clearance with the various cable and satellite providers, but Posner notes that the Padres are scheduled to broadcast a spring training game on March 17.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported recently the Padres’ contract with FOX Sports San Diego could be worth as much as $1.5 billion over 20 seasons, which is pretty impressive for a team in the 26th-largest market. However, because the deal is expected to start out with a relatively low annual figure and ramp up significantly in later years the immediate impact on the Padres’ payroll is unclear.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.