Quick Hits: Indians, Matsui, Ethier, Sanchez

The Indians are the latest team to get a financial boost from a new TV contract, as the club announced that it has sold SportsTime Ohio (and the broadcasting rights to Indians games) to FOX Sports Media Group.  The Tribe's contract with FOX will run for at least 10 years and the team will receive at least $400MM over the course of the deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  The Indians will get $40MM from FOX in 2013, up from the $33MM the team received from STO in 2012.  While it isn't the multi-billion dollar deal that other teams have received in recent TV rights deals, the extra funds have already played a role in the Indians' operations, namely the $56MM contract given to Nick Swisher.

Here are some items from around baseball as we head into the final weekend of 2012…

  • Hideki Matsui told reporters (including Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News) that he received offers from several Japanese teams but decided to retire since he felt he wasn't able to play up his standards.  Amongst Major League clubs, only the Astros were known to have shown any interest in Matsui this winter.
  • The Mariners could be in on Andre Ethier, tweets CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, though there is "no real evidence" that the Dodgers have any interest in dealing the right fielder.
  • Matt Sosnick, agent for infielder Freddy Sanchez, tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his client is healthy and has received some interest from teams, though no offers.  Sanchez, 35, has been plagued by injuries over the last two seasons and was limited to just 10 minor league plate appearances in 2012.
  • The Brewers signed righty Alfredo Figaro to a minor league deal last week but they were unaware that Figaro's rights were still controlled by the NPL's Orix Buffaloes, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  Milwaukee assistant GM Gord Ash said that the Brewers have told Orix that they will retract their offer if the Buffaloes choose to retain Figaro.
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden lists five possible transactions that he thinks make sense for contending teams, such as the Cardinals trading for Carlos Gonzalez or the Orioles signing Kyle Lohse.
  • Twins assistant GM Rob Antony tells La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the team could still make further additions to its pitching depth.  "I wouldn't say we're done," Antony said. "I wouldn't say were pushing hard. We have our feelers out there. If the situation is right, we could do something else. If not, we're OK too.''  Minnesota has already added Kevin Correia, Rich Harden, Mike Pelfrey and Vance Worley this winter but Neal doesn't think the team is willing to give a two-year, $14-$15MM contract to the likes of Joe Saunders, Shaun Marcum or Brett Myers.

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