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Report: Rays nearing lucrative new TV deal


The Tampa Bay Rays have had one of the least lucrative television deals among major league teams over the past decade. Their current deal, signed in 2009, has typically paid them $20-30 million per year. Due to that and due to poor attendance, the Rays have claimed that they have had no choice but to carry some of the lowest payrolls in baseball year-by-year.

John Ourand and Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Daily report, however, that the Rays will soon see their TV revenues increase dramatically due to them nearing a long-term extension with Fox Sports Net. The deal, which will pay them $50 million in 2019, will gradually increase to an average of $82 million a year over the course of a 16-year term. Ourand and Kaplan say that the Rays are currently slated to receive close to $35 million this season, the last one under the old deal.

The Rays, as we have noted at some length in recent days, have made a series of moves that appear to be set in motion by the need to cut or, at the very least, maintain current payroll, shedding arbitration-eligible players and avoiding even moderately expensive free agents. It’ll be interesting to see if they continue that course going forward.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.