Just got the press release from MLB about the new ESPN rights deal. It’s mostly as reported this morning. This stood out, however:
ESPN has also made a commitment to showcase each of the 30 MLB Clubs at least once per season in a live game telecast.
This is at least a bone to fans of teams who don’t play for one of the big boys. Of course, I presume that fans of those teams will get to see their guys playing one of the big boys in one of these guaranteed games.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ratings are what pay for these deals, and way more people will watch the Yankees play the Royals than will watch the Rays play the Royals.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.