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Insider

Hunter's deal a sign of inflation?

Torii Hunter turned 37 in July but still had a career year with the Angels before signing with Detroit. Cal Sport Media/AP Images

Late this season, Major League Baseball completed new broadcast deals with ESPN, Fox and Turner Sports that will roughly double the amount of money the league receives from those three networks beginning in 2014. Couple those contracts with increasingly lucrative local TV deals, the highest regular-season attendance since 2008, the success of MLB Advanced Media, the new CBA's restrictions on how much teams can spend in the draft and on the international market, the trend toward locking up young players before they become free agents and the Los Angeles Dodgers' apparent willingness to make their fans forget Frank McCourt by becoming big-time buyers, and the stage appeared to be set for significant offseason inflation.