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Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Joe Buck and Joe Morgan are Frick Award Finalists

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Each December the Hall of Fame presents the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Each October they announce the finalists under consideration for the honor. Those finalists were announced yesterday.

It’s a three-year rotation, with this year’s slate consisting of national broadcasters. Next year it will honor “early voices,” from the pre-television age and in 2020, as last year, it will honor team-specific announcers. Here are the national voices under consideration:

  • Bob Costas;
  • Al Michaels;
  • Joe Buck;
  • Don Drysdale;
  • Dizzy Dean;
  • Joe Morgan;
  • Pee Wee Reese; and
  • Buddy Blattner

Full disclosure requires me to note that Costas and Michaels both work for NBC, though their broadcasting legacy and history, like that of the other nominees, extends to multiple platforms and outlets over the year.

Voting will be conducted by the 11 living Frick Award winners and four broadcast historians/columnists. The panel:Marty Brennaman, Dick Enberg, Jaime Jarrin, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne. The historians/columnists are David J. Halberstam, Barry Horn, Ted Patterson and Curt Smith.

The winner will be announced Dec. 13 at the winter meetings at Disney World.

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.