Rays sign newly acquired Ryan Hanigan to extension

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As part of their trade acquiring Ryan Hanigan from the Reds earlier today the Rays announced a three-year, $10.75 million contract extension with the catcher.

The deal also includes an option for 2017, which means Hanigan is now under team control through age 36. He was arbitration eligible for the final time in 2014 and would have hit the open market as a free agent next offseason, so clearly being able to agree to the extension was a big part of the trade for the Rays.

Tampa Bay also picked up Heath Bell as part of the three-team swap with the Reds and Diamondbacks.

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.