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Orioles talking with Phillies about Blanton

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Orioles talking with Phillies about Blanton

NEW YORK - With just over a day before the trading deadline, the Orioles still havent made a deal. With Zack Grienke, Francisco Liriano and Wandy Rodriguez traded and Matt Garza off the market, the Orioles are looking at the Philadelphia Phillies Joe Blanton.Bruce Kison was sent by the Orioles to Atlanta on Saturday to scout Blantons game against the Braves. Blanton lost the game, but allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings.Blanton, who is 31, is finishing a three-year 24 million contract with the Phillies, who are now in a clear retooling mode.Philadelphia, which won the NL East for five straight years, has had a horrible season, and after being swept in Atlanta, stand 16 12 games behind the first place Nationals.Blanton is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA, and industry sources indicate that the Orioles have been eyeing him since spring training. He has an 81-71 lifetime record with a 4.35 ERA.If the Phillies will pay a large part of his salary and will accept a lower-level prospect or two, the teams may be able to execute their second deal in the past month.The Orioles acquired Jim Thome on June 30 from Philadelphia for two lower-level prospects.On Friday, Dan Duquette, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations, told CSNBaltimore.com that he was more focused on a pitcher than a hitter, but that he was looking to "add and be additive."The Phillies are also eager to move outfielder Shane Victorino, who like Blanton will be a free agent after this season. Hes the same age as Blanton, but theres likely to be more competition for Victorino.The Orioles have Adam Jones in center and Nick Markakis in right, the two positions Victorino has most often played. He hasnt played left field since 2006.Victorino, a lifetime .277 hitter, is batting .261 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs. He also has 24 steals in 28 attempts, and his speed would give the Orioles something theyre badly missing.While the Orioles may covet left fielder Hunter Pence, the Phillies would have to blown away with an offer to move him.Philadelphias director of player development is Joe Jordan, who until last season was the Orioles director of scouting, and hes familiar with most of the players in Baltimores system.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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