Red Sox one of “four or five” teams interested in Josh Hamilton

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We heard earlier today that the Rangers have been the “most aggressive” on free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, but it appears they will have competition.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com in Boston reports that the Red Sox are among “four or five” teams interested in Hamilton. But their interest comes with a pretty big caveat, as they are only willing to consider him on a short-term deal, likely with a higher AAV (average annual value). So his market would have to be pretty weak for this to be a real possibility.

There’s been chatter that Hamilton is looking for a seven-year deal, but one source tells Bradford that teams are currently waiting to see if there is anybody willing to offer as many as four years. The Orioles, Phillies, Brewers, and Mariners have all been mentioned as possible landing spots, but there’s some hesitancy to meet his substantial asking price, which is not a big surprise when you consider his age, injury risk and history of substance abuse. But it only takes one team to blow expectations out of the water.

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.