Source: Cardinals, Dodgers have deal in place for Rafael Furcal

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Update: A source tells our own Craig Calcaterra that the Cardinals and Dodgers have agreed to the particulars in a Furcal deal and that Furcal is leaning toward waiving his no-trade protection to go to St. Louis.

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The shortstop market is barren, but the Cardinals appear interested in taking a chance on the one big name out there; they’re discussing a deal with the Dodgers that could net them Rafael Furcal.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Furcal is open to waiving his no-trade protection and moving on to St. Louis.  The Cardinals are giving usual shortstop Ryan Theriot his first start of the year at second base on Saturday, suggesting that they’re confident a deal is going to get done.

Furcal has had a brutal, injury-plagued season that’s left him with a .197/.272/.248 line in 137 at-bats.  He’s 5-for-8 stealing bases, and he’s scored just 15 runs in 37 games.

Still, there’s hope that Furcal will improve if he stays healthy.  And he has gone 8-for-22 over his last six games, raising his average 32 points.  He certainly has the most upside of any shortstop available.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.