Charlie Manuel wants a hitter and a reliever

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Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has revealed his Christmas list early, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports.

“We definitely could use a reliever, without a doubt,” Manuel said Monday. “But we also could use a bat.”

Manuel, though, doesn’t want GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade.

“I’m talking about a good one,” he said. “If we’re going to get somebody, I want somebody good that will help us. I don’t want someone we’ve already got. We could use a good hitter.”

If Manuel wants a starter, that wouldn’t seem to bode too well for rookie Domonic Brown.  No one else in Philadelphia’s lineup is at all likely to be supplanted in a trade.  Raul Ibanez might actually be the Phillies’ weakest link, but it’s doubtful he’ll be replaced.

Fox, MLB sign broadcast rights extension through 2028

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FOX Sports and Major League Baseball announced a few minutes ago that they have agreed to a multi-year broadcast rights extension. The deal keeps Fox as the lead MLB rights holder, and home of the World Series, All-Star Game and a good chunk of the playoffs through at least 2028.

While the press release does not announce the financial terms, Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that it will pay Major League Baseball about 30-40% more than the previous contract. While ratings are not what they used to be, it would seem that the eyeballs Fox is getting are more valuable to it.

UPDATE: That bump is actually even bigger:

For the time being, things will look very much like they do now. Starting in 2022, there will be more games broadcast. There are no specifics about how many more. The release says “FOX Sports will also expand its digital rights,” but again, no specifics on what that means, exactly.

FOX Sports has been a baseball rights-holder since 1996 and has been the exclusive national non-cable rights holder since 2001. That’s gonna continue for at least another decade.