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Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers’ wait for resolution of TV deal will continue

(AP photo/Jeff Roberson)

 

Court will not be session this afternoon.

The delayed hearing that would hopefully give some clarity to the Rangers’ TV deal for 2024 with Diamond Sports Group has been delayed again.

See everyone Jan. 19.

The optimist would see the delay as a sign that Diamond, which owns Bally Sports Southwest, and Major League Baseball are deep into negotiations to secure the TV money for the 11 clubs whose rights Diamond owns. The Rangers are one of them and presumed to be one of the three Diamond is looking to dump for 2024 as part of a bankruptcy restructuring.

Diamond owes the Rangers $111 million.

The nine-day delay comes after MLB reportedly rejected Diamond’s attempt to sell streaming rights to Amazon. Amazon wants the rights to all 11 teams, but the problem is that Diamond owns the rights to only five. The Rangers are not one of the five.

While the $150 million from Amazon was intriguing, MLB reportedly saw the interest as an attempt by Diamond to rework the current deals by lassoing in the streaming rights for the other six teams.

Love or hate MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, he’s a savvy negotiator.

The best-case scenario when Diamond’s bankruptcy restructuring is finally approved is that the Rangers come out of it with every penny of the $111 million. Jon Heyman of the New York Post has suggested that the Rangers will get $90 million, which is still pretty darn good.

That would give them the capital to sign Jordan Montgomery, who reportedly wants a deal that exceeds the seven-year, $172 million the Phillies gave right-hander Aaron Nola early in the offseason. History shows that Rangers ownership doesn’t like going past five years on a starter, and they also try to avoid deals that would take a player into his age-38 season.

The two sides could be at an impasse even with all that TV money.

Judging by the current pace of the market, the 31-year-old Montgomery should still be available Jan. 19. If he truly wants to return to the Rangers, as multiple reports suggest, he’ll probably have to take fewer years than Nola received.

Another starter signs

Japanese left-hander Shota Imanaga, considered a tier (or two) below Dodgers right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Mets right-hander Kodai Senga, is reportedly in agreement with the Cubs on a multi-year contract that will pay him $15 million annually.

The contract is not believed to be worth more than $100 million, a figure some in the industry had anticipated. It would have been a significant overpay.

The signing comes amid murmurs that the Cubs were scared away by Montgomery’s price tag, but the relatively reasonable contract for Imanaga should keep the Cubs in play for a big bat and perhaps another starter.

The Cubs will have to pay a posting fee to Imanaga’s team in Japan, the Yokohama BayStars. He was teammates in 2023 with right-hander Trevor Bauer, who is attempting to land an MLB deal after the resolution to a case in which he was accused of sexual assault. He was not charged with any crimes, and evidence gathered during civil proceedings suggests that the alleged victim was setting him up.

Another MLB All-Star facing legal issues, left-hander Julio Urias, scored a victory Tuesday when a judged ruled that he would not be charged with felony assault of his girlfriend. A misdemeanor charge is still possible, and MLB is conducting its own investigation that could lead to Urias being suspended.

Bauer and Urias would be upgrades to the Rangers’ rotation and would likely come on the cheap. They might not be worth the potential PR headaches, and they would have difficulty passing the character test general manager Chris Young applies to potential player acquisitions.

More guests coming

Rangers radio broadcaster Matt Hicks is the latest guest to lock in for the first ever Rangers Today Baseball Podcast live show, at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at Hop & Sting Brewing Co. in Grapevine.

He joins pitching coach Mike Maddux and former Rangers left-hander Derek Holland, riding high from his Michigan Wolverines winning the national championship. The hope is that two more players are able to join the fun.

Attending the podcast is free. Copies of At Long Last, the Rangers Today/Triumph Books commemorative look at the 2023 championship series, will be available. If you can’t get a copy at the event, do so here.

Should be a good time.

Doggy video!

Not so tough after all. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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2 Comments

  1. deGrom Texas Ranger January 10, 2024

    It’s such a backwards ckuntry if you can be cleared of a relationship crime and still be persecuted and blacklisted for your lifestyle. Texas should just sign Bauer and Urias for the cheap amounts they will likely make due to social media. Now, for the baseball part, I do really wonder if this was 150 million split evenly amongst 11 teams or if it was 150 million each (total of 1.65 billion). That makes all the difference in the world.

    Reply
  2. Jeff Wilson January 11, 2024

    I’m with you on the cancel culture. Bauer didn’t have a great image before his case, and that might languish. This is accusation No. 2 against Urias, who will be facing a suspension. I don’t see Chris Young going there, though he did with Chapman several years later.

    Reply

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