A third option for the Orioles at first base

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The Orioles have a three-year $21 million offer on the table to Adam LaRoche. For reasons that remain unclear, he has not jumped at it yet.  Realizing that maybe going three-years on LaRoche isn’t the best idea, they have reportedly contacted Derrek Lee, who may be amenable to a one-year deal.  Makes sense.

Know what else makes sense? Buster Olney’s fun idea:

The Orioles have also been talking with Derrek Lee, for a deal somewhere in the range of $8 million. If that feels too pricey, here’s an imperfect and much cheaper alternative — but a combination that could result in good production. The Orioles could consider a platoon of sluggers at first base: Troy Glaus from the right side, and Russell Branyan or Jason Giambi from the left side.

Such a thing could be a potential nightmare for roster management because you’d still need to have someone who can cover first base defensively. And because none of those guys could just slot into the DH position with Luke Scott hanging around. And because, you know, they’re all old and potentially fragile.

But the general idea — don’t get locked into Adam LaRoche and try to be creative — is a worthy one.  How about Vlad Guerrero at DH and Scott at first base like Roch Kubatko suggested yesterday?  There have to be better options than offering LaRoche three years. And having to wait around for him to accept it.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.

In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.

The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.

Shelby Miller has a tear in his UCL, considering Tommy John surgery

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.

Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.

Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.