We can make all the jokes we want about the Dodgers signing everyone and making the mid-2000s Yankees look like misers and all that jazz, but they won’t care. Why? Because their TV deal is going to be bonkers, it seems. Bill Shaikin reports:
Fox Sports could pay at least $6 billion to retain the Dodgers’ television rights, three parties familiar with the negotiations said Sunday. The deal could be worth three times what the Dodgers’ new owners paid for the team and almost 20 times the value of the Dodgers’ current television contract.
Perspective: the Dodgers currently rake in about $29 million a year in local TV money. This deal would bring them about $240 million a year, on average, over the life of the deal. In other words, with just the increase in TV revenue, they could add, like, eight A-Rods to the roster. So, no, when they sign Zack Greinke, you need not shed a tear for their financial well being.
Fox, on the other hand, maybe worry about them. Because these rights deals are getting insane and eventually the bubble is going to burst, right? And some network is going to have … um, whatever goo makes up TV rights bubbles splash all over them. Perhaps it’s a soapy mixture of some kind. Comes with a wand.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.