Orioles make minor league deal with Johan Santana official

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Johan Santana and the Orioles have finalized their minor-league contract, which was announced just now and will include an invitation to big-league camp.

Santana struggled to top 80 miles per hour while throwing for a half-dozen teams last week, so the odds of him making the Opening Day roster seem awfully slim. There’s some speculation that he could be used as a reliever, but regardless of his role Santana is seemingly destined for some time in extended spring training or the minors.

Santana is attempting to come back from two shoulder surgeries at age 35 after missing all of 2011 and all of 2013, with 117 innings of 4.85 ERA pitching (and a no-hitter) mixed in during 2012. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the deal is worth “$3 million plus performance bonuses” if he reaches the majors.

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.