MLB Network to produce Fox’s pregame show

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I tend not to watch the pregame shows for national broadcasts. No compelling reason for it. It’s just that I spend all day thinking about the broader baseball news and upcoming games as it is, so when go to watch a national telecast I just like to turn on the TV and have the game begin.

For those of you who do watch the pregame shows, however, change is afoot: Fox is subcontracting out its pregame festivities to MLB Network:

MLB Network is teaming with Fox Sports on an expanded pregame show before the broadcaster’s game of the week. Fox Saturday Baseball Pregame Show will run for 30 minutes, originating live from MLB’s state-of-the-art Studio 3 in Secaucus, N.J.

The program will be hosted by veteran Fox Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian. He will be joined weekly by a rotating roster of MLB Network analysts: Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar.

In other news, Chris Rose and Kevin Kennedy’s golf games may reach new heights this summer.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.