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Report: Orioles considering Hanley Ramirez

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The Orioles are reportedly considering free agent infielder Hanley Ramirez, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The report was later confirmed by the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, who says general manager Dan Duquette mentioned the signing was “under consideration.” That doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is imminent, however, especially as the Orioles already have a plethora of first base/designated hitter types at their disposal.

Helping matters: Rosenthal adds that there’s a shared history between Duquette and Ramirez, as the GM orchestrated Ramirez’s four-year, $88-million deal with the Red Sox back in 2014 and has an idea of what the slugger brings to the table. After a four-year run with the Sox, the 34-year-old first baseman was released on Friday in order to clear roster space for the now-injured Dustin Pedroia. He’s batting a modest .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and a .708 OPS in 195 plate appearances this year.

Even assuming Ramirez continued to improve on those numbers, there’s still the question of Baltimore’s first base/DH logjam. Chris Davis is the presumed starter at first, despite his career-worst .152 average and -1.7 fWAR. Mark Trumbo, Danny Valencia, and Pedro Alvarez have been trading off DH duties in the meantime, and both Trumbo and Valencia are hitting at a fair clip above Ramirez, too. On the other hand, the Orioles likely won’t be the only team interested in the veteran infielder this year, so Ramirez may not want to jump at the first offer he gets.

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.