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It’s gonna cost an arm and a leg to demolish the Astrodome

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The Houston Astrodome has sat empty for years and has been without a professional sports team in it for a decade. But it still stands, right next door to Reliant Stadium, legally unfit for habitation. It has to be demolished, right?

Sure, bit it’s gonna cost a king’s ransom to do it, and much much more than other previous stadium demolitions:

The 2010 study estimated the cost of demolition at $78 million, including $10 million for asbestos removal and $10 million to put a “plaza” on the site after demolition. That does not include the $29.9 million the county still owes on the building …

The priciest stadium demolition a Houston Chronicle examination found was $22 million for New York’s Yankee Stadium, which was completed in 2010. Indianapolis’ RCA Dome cost $13 million to raze in 2008. The Seattle Kingdome was imploded in 2000 for about $10 million, as was Giants Stadium in New Jersey, which was razed in 2010. All had seating capacities similar to or larger than the Astrodome.

According to the article, the higher price is due to the nature of the foundation, the proximity to the other football stadium, asbestos, etc.  Experts quoted in the article are dubious, however.

In other news, the Astrodome cost $35 million to build, which in current dollars is about $250 million and change.  And yet there will still be other cities in the future who will eagerly build stadiums, ballparks and arenas for the local nine, five and eleven.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.