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.

Rays acquire Wilmer Font from Athletics

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In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.

This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.

Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.