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Parra re-signing would be useful start to off-season

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Parra re-signing would be useful start to off-season

Shortly after the Orioles acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline, manager Buck Showalter said that the outfielder was kind of player who could be with the team for several years.

The 28-year-old was picked up from Milwaukee for pitcher Zach Davies, and while his two months with the Orioles didn’t compare favorably with his first four months with the Brewers, it’s the Orioles’ hope they can keep him around.

Showalter is fond of saying that if you don’t retain a certain player, you’ll be looking around in the winter for a similar one, and that definitely applies here.

Parra filled in a hole in right field, and with Dariel Alvarez not appearing to be ready for full-time duty, there doesn’t seem to be any alternative to retaining him.

RELATED: Dubroff: Orioles should sign Machado to long-term contract

The Orioles can’t give Parra, who hit .237 in 55 games, a qualifying offer because he was traded, and with the likely free agent losses looming, losing him would be another loss.

He batted .328 in 100 games with Milwaukee, far above his .277 lifetime average, but didn’t appear to adjust well in his first time in the American League.

Parra hit .239 with five home runs in August, and just .234 with no home runs the rest of the season, but he ended nicely, hitting .417 in the last week of the season.

He won’t make anyone forget Nick Markakis, who hit .296 in 156 games for Atlanta, but Parra is four years younger.

In order to retain Parra, the Orioles may have to offer him a three-year, $30 million contract, but really what’s the alternative?

Other than Alvarez, who played just 12 games after his late August recall, there aren’t any major league ready outfielders in the system, and the free agent focus seems to be on pitching.

All that points to the Orioles trying to keep Parra and perhaps Alvarez can start 2016 with the team.

Parra is a left-handed hitter like Markakis was, and he can play center field. He started in center field six times when Adam Jones was hurt.

Showalter has said it’s important for the team to have a decent option in center when Jones is unavailable, and Parra could help there.

In his two months with the non-running Orioles, Parra was the team’s second leading base stealer, with five steals in six attempts. He trailed only Manny Machado. That’s another positive about keeping it.

Parra said he enjoyed playing with the Orioles, and liked the ballpark.

While his signing wouldn’t generate the buzz that a re-signing of Chris Davis or Darren O’Day might, it would be a useful start to the 2015-16 off-season.

MORE: When Orioles played Cubs, they weren't this team

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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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