Reds' Joey Votto graces cover of Sports Illustrated

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MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon passes along word that Reds first baseman Joey Votto will be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated that is set to reach newsstands today.  Sheldon also has a picture of the cover, so go check that out.

Because we’re mostly sane here at HBT and don’t buy into petty jinx theories, this all arrives as great news.  Votto is an MVP candidate, he might just win the Triple Crown, and he’s overcome a bout with clinical depression along the way.  It’s nice to see that he is finally getting a dose of well-deserved exposure.

But, uh, go ahead and tell us how Cincinnati is now doomed in the comments section.

Votto is the first Reds player to make the cover of SI since Ken Griffey Jr. on June 14, 2004.  The 26-year-old leads all eligible National Leaguers with a .323 batting average and he trails only Adam Dunn and Albert Pujols with 29 home runs.  The Reds currently hold a 2.5-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.