The hidden costs of the minor league ballpark building boom


Here’s a long and interesting story about minor league ballpark construction. About the gigantic boom in new parks between 1993 and 2003 and how that boom cost communities so much more than the backers of the ballparks initially promised. In some places — like Ramapo, New York — that cost was multiple times what was promised and has even led to an FBI investigation into it all.

After reading this, let’s go to the tally board: that’s 1,497 examples of publicly-financed ballparks not being good economic deals and, what, like four or five that ended up being pretty cool?

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.