As we’ve discussed several times, the MLB Extra Innings package is in grave “danger” of being a Direct TV exclusive. There has been a lot of speculation as to how the cable companies would respond to the opportunity to match Direct TV’s terms for carrying the package.

I think I just learned part of their strategy. In today’s mail was a letter from Cox Communications (my cable and internet provider), offering me a free subscription to the MLB.TV out-of-market package (an $89.95 value). (A copy is after the jump). I’d heard rumblings that Comcast may buy and distribute discounted, bulk subscriptions to earlier in the week, but was definitely surprised to see the offer from Cox in my mailbox so soon.

I guess the idea is to keep me from switching over the Direct TV, and I certainly appreciate the gesture. I do find it interesting that Cox figures it’s cheaper to pay MLB $90 per subscriber (or at least $90 per prior Extra Innings subscriber) AND give up the profits from future Extra Innings subscriptions than to carry the MLB Channel on the basic cable tier. It’s especially interesting, given that (according to the letter), Cox is still “actively negotiating” to carry the Extra Innings package.

In any event, I’ll be taking them up on the offer – my only question is whether I can still get $90 off the upgraded package with better resolution.

The letter is after the jump.