Yoenis Cespedes is eligible to come off the disabled list today, but the A’s center fielder isn’t ready to return from a strained muscle in his left hand.
Cespedes was cleared for baseball activities last week and has said his hand feels better, but Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that he hasn’t been able to swing a bat yet and until that happens without any problems there can’t be a timetable for rejoining the lineup.
Prior to the injury Cespedes dropped jaws with his monstrous power and hit .245 with five homers, four steals, and a .753 OPS in 28 games, which qualifies as excellent production for an Oakland team that ranks dead last in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, and runs scored.
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.