The Indians are thinking about bringing back Travis Hafner or Jim Thome

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The Indians lost their DH when they wisely declined to exercise the option they had on Travis Hafner. A possible replacement? How about Travis Hafner? Or, barring that, Jim Thome? That’s what Jon Heyman is reporting, anyway.

Hafner played in only 66 games last season, hitting .228/.346/.438 with 12 homers. Thome, who is seven years Hafner’s senior, played in only 58, hitting .252/.344/.442 with eight dingers.

So, no, neither one is an ideal solution. At least not unless they invent a surgery to turn one of them instantly right-handed and the rosters are expanded to 26, allowing the Indians to run a DH-only platoon.

But hey, famous names.

 

Fox, MLB sign broadcast rights extension through 2028

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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.