Washington Nationals News: Owner says Nats’ pursuit of free agents affected by MASN

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Oct 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a two run home run during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a two run home run during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories about the Washington Nationals’ financial struggles in light of the MASN dispute and reliever Felipe Rivero.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses the ongoing dispute between the Nationals and MASN and the effect it has had on the team’s offseason. As Wagner writes, Nationals’ principle owner Ed Cohen filed a sworn affidavit claiming that the dispute has put the Nationals at a financial and competitive disadvantage to other clubs.

With the current TV deal that the Nationals have with the Orioles (who own the majority of MASN), the team is receiving just $40 million a year in TV rights. According to Cohen, this has forced the Nationals into a position that makes it difficult to sign players to longterm deals.

Here’s a portion of Cohen’s affidavit, via Wagner’s article:

"“For instance, without this added and steady income, the Nationals cannot bring full economic confidence to investments in multi-year player contracts to keep up with the fierce competition for top players — especially when such control over finances is in the hands of a neighboring club. Delay also hamstrings the Nationals’ ability to invest in stadium and related improvements which would generate additional income and help keep the Nationals competitive. In other words, MASN’s refusal to pay the fair market value fees required under the contract forces the Nationals either to have to borrow more money to fund cash flow needs (which comes with its own costs) or to limit or forego the sorts of investments the Nationals should be making to build the club’s business for the future.”"

The Nationals have failed to sign several players this offseason and have offered deferred money to most players they have reached out to. Whether or not the lack of adequate TV money directly affected those negotiations remains isn’t clear. One thing’s for certain, the sooner the Nationals get their fair share of TV money from MASN, the better off the team will be in the long-term.

Also in today’s Daily, Federal Baseball’s Patrick Reddington discusses the success of Nationals reliever Felipe Rivero.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Ed Cohen says Nationals’ pursuit of free agents affected by MASN

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

The dispute over the Nationals’ television rights fees drags on, three years and counting. Six-hundred and eighty-four documents have been entered into the court record since the dispute moved into the legal system in 2014. All sides are appealing a November decision by a New York Supreme Court judge that tossed out higher rights fees awarded to the Nationals by a MLB panel.

The Orioles, the majority controllers of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, have asked an appeals court to send the dispute to an outside arbitration panel because they still believe MLB’s arbitration process is tainted. Read full article here.

Felipe Rivero, the Washington Nationals’ sort-of out-of-nowhere bullpen success story

(Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

Acquired along with minor league outfielder Drew Vettleson and catcher Jose Lobaton in the February 2014 trade that sent Nathan Karns to the Tampa Bay Rays, hard-throwing left-hander Felipe Rivero transitioned to bullpen work at the start of the 2015 campaign after starting in most of his minor league outings with the Rays from 2010-13 and all fourteen of his appearances for the Washington Nationals‘ affiliates in 2014.

The move put Rivero on a fast track to the big leagues. He was called up to make his major league debut in early April, and brought back in June. Read full article here.

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