The Sox will throw money into a Lowell deal

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There were scattered reports over the weekend that the Red Sox could be shopping Mike Lowell, but given that he’s old, expensive and in decline, such a deal would be a tough nut to crack. According to Rosenthal, however, the Sox are willing to kick in as much as $6 million of Lowell’s $12 million salary for 2010 to anyone who will take him off their hands.

If Lowell were gone, it would open up all kinds of possibilities for Boston, from the fantastic (trading for Adrian Gonzalez, with Youkilis moving to third) to the merely practical (signing someone like Adrian Beltre in order to get a better glove on the left side of the infield).

As for any potential trading partner: Mike Lowell for $6 million would still be kinda hard to swallow. I suppose if you’re a team that’s well-sorted everywhere except at third base it would make some kind of sense, but I can’t see any contenders out there that fit the profile. 

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Javier Baez made a couple of fantastic plays last night

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Javier Baez is a second baseman. He’s played a good bit of shortstop and, if he played for some other teams, he may be an everyday shortstop, but he’s the Cubs’ second baseman.

With Addision Russell out with some shoulder issues, however, Baez got the call at short last night for the Cubs-Nats game in Washington. It was a good call, as he made a couple of spectacular plays in the field.

First up is this highway robbery of Bryce Harper, who thought he had a base hit. It was a good thought, too, as he hit the ball like a dang rocket:

Later, when Adam Lind was up to bat, he fouled one off behind third base. Baez got on his horse and did this:

That inspired Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper to use the old line the great Harry Kalas used about Garry Maddox: “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.” It’s a great line, and aptly used to describe Javier Baez’s Monday night.