Potential New TV Deal Strengthens D’backs


May 1, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick smiles during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In a bit of off the field news, it seems the Arizona Diamondbacks are close to inking a new television deal with FOX Sports Arizona. The potential agreement, written about by Fox’s Ken Rosenthal would begin in 2016 and may be worth as much as $90 million dollars per season. Rosenthal believes the deal would be in the 15 to 20 year range and is the reason as to why the team went hard after Masahiro Tanaka and put in a late but competitive bid for Shin-Soo Choo.

I am not sure if agree 100% with that last statement. The last of the deferred money is scheduled to come off the books this year and the D’backs received an extra $20 million because of MLB’s new television contracts. So while the anticipation of a new deal helped, I don’t believe that was the sole reason why the team gave significant offers for Tanaka and Choo. However, even if the number comes out to only $65-$75 million, that still represents a huge boost to the organization. It doesn’t mean they are the Yankees and the Dodgers and can get into multiple bidding wars for free agents. What it does mean is that they can pay top dollar to keep some of their own free agents. For example, assuming the D’backs want to extend Paul Goldschmidt before his contract expires after the 2019 season, they would have the means to do that. If they want to go the other way and lock up one of the young pitchers a season or two before free agency, they could do that.   That would be my preference anyway, identifying key players and giving them deals comparable to what they would get on the open market. If there is one big free agent that could make the difference between October and early golf, the Snakes could get into the mix much like they did this offseason.

The timing for the new TV deal to take effect couldn’t be better. 2016 is the year a certain left-handed pitcher from Tampa may be shopping for some new digs. Could the benefits of all of that extra money allow the D’backs to sign David Price? I know, that’s two years away and we have an exciting season yet to begin. Still, think of a rotation that could include Price, Archie Bradley, Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley. OK, that’s enough. It’s time to prepare for 2014.

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