The Rays sign Jose Molina

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This has been a long time coming — it was first reported a couple of weeks ago — but the Rays have finally signed Jose Molina. It’s a one-year deal for $1.8 million with a club option.

Of course, when this was first reported, Molina was supposed to be John Jaso’s backup.  Jaso was traded to Seattle last night.  If they’re interested in defense-first, Molina is a great option. But he has only caught 100 games in a season once in his career, so the Rays are still likely to snag another catcher. Ramon Hernandez? Go all-in with Robinson Chirinos?

Hard to say, but now that there’s a Molina there, there is some semblance of stability. I mean, that’s what Molinas do.

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.