This has already been an offseason change for the Cleveland Guardians, who have a new manager and are beginning to reshape their roster for the next era. Free agency obviously provides a huge opportunity to make some significant shakeups, as well as the trade market.
However, the roster and dugout might not be the only things that are changing in 2024.
The Guardians' broadcast deal with Diamond Sports Group is at risk of being terminated, according to the Athletic's Evan Drellich. Diamond is attempting to navigate its way through its bankruptcy situation, which has put Cleveland's contract (as well as the Texas Rangers') "on the chopping block."
For a small-market club, this could have massive ramifications. The Guardians' deal with Diamond brought in $55 million in 2023, making up a significant part of the team's payroll. Losing that guaranteed influx of cash may make Cleveland less aggressive in spendng on worthwhile upgrades this offseason.
However, Diamond ending the contract doesn't have to limit Cleveland. They'd receive their rights back in that case, allowing them to possibly partner with a different network. If that doesn't come to fruition, though, MLB would likely step up to broadcast Guardians games -- just like the league did for the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2023.
Given Diamond's struggles and availability difficulties, this change may lead to fans in Cleveland getting a better broadcast experience in the long term. In a short-term, though, the Guardians will need to figure out how to make additions if they don't have broadcast rights money to bank on.
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