The Nationals, Orioles are having a dispute about local TV revenue

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As we’ve seen recently, local TV revenue is the sweetest plum for ballclubs these days. If you’re up for a new TV deal right now, you’re rolling in dough.

But what if you’re not? What if, like the Nationals and Orioles, you’re sharing one?  Then you run into the sort of thing Ken Rosenthal is reporting here:

Now, according to sources, a panel of baseball officials will decide what the two teams could not resolve in negotiations — the annual rights fee that the Nationals will receive from MASN.

The matter went to arbitration after talks between the Orioles and Nationals sputtered. While there is no known deadline for a decision, the panel is meeting regularly due to the urgency of the situation, sources say.

The problem, as Rosenthal reports, is that the fee the two teams share from MASN is to be re-set at market rates every five years. What market rates are right now is up for debate. And given that the Orioles have a way bigger piece of MASN than the Nats do, you can understand that they might have a much different opinion of exactly what those rates are.

Get used to this, folks. Not the sharing thing so much — it’s not that common — but the notion of teams going to war with someone, somewhere over just how much it’s worth to them to allow a network to broadcast their games.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.