Dodgers table contract talks with Hanley Ramirez

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It appears Hanley Ramirez will reach free agency.

Dodgers president Stan Kasten told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that contract talks with the injury-prone 30-year-old shortstop have been tabled until after the 2014 season. “Both sides have agreed we’ll sit down and talk at the end of the season and decide,” said Kasten. “We both decided that makes the most sense. As difficult a season as he’s had physically, there is still lots of time for him to have an enormous impact for us. … We love Hanley.”

Ramirez has appeared in only 100 of the Dodgers’ 125 games this year and is currently on the disabled list with an oblique strain. He has also batted just .277/.367/.455 in 2013, way down from his outstanding .345/.402/.638 batting line from 2014.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported in May that Hanley was seeking a deal worth in excess of $130 million. The Dodgers are flush with cash, but that’s still a really risky commitment for a guy who has struggled to stay on the field and whose defense at shortstop is already questionable and not going to get better.

The Dodgers have a fast-moving top shortstop prospect in their system named Corey Seager.

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.

Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.

All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.