Report: Rangers, Mariners engaged in Cliff Lee talks

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Industry sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that trade talks between the Rangers and Mariners regarding left-hander Cliff Lee “appear to be heating up.”
Sullivan, however, goes right on to say that nothing is imminent.
The Rangers are in a difficult position when it comes to making trades. With bankruptcy proceedings ongoing and ownership still up in the air, the team might not be able to take on additional cash in a trade.
However, that might not put a halt to talks here. The Mariners are far from desperate for cash and Lee, a free agent-to-be, only has about $4 million left on his contract. If it means getting extra talent in return, the Mariners will likely be open to picking up his salary in a deal.
I speculated last month on some of the possibilities to be included in a potential Roy Oswalt-to-Texas deal. Many of the same names could be in play here. The Mariners may hold out for first baseman Justin Smoak, which could be a dealbreaker. The Rangers have a wealth of young arms to barter with, but the Mariners are believed to be more focused on adding position players. The Twins appear to match up better with them in that department.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.