I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently there is a fan poll in which people can vote for who they’d like to see in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby. You can vote here.
Major League Baseball just announced who was leading the voting thus far: In the NL it’s Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard. In the AL it’s Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton and David Ortiz. Unlike any other sort of All-Star voting, I can’t find any fault whatsoever in that voting. Those are probably the six guys who, if I cared all that much about the Home Run Derby, I’d want to see in it. Adam Dunn, Justin Upton and Mike Stanton can be alternates.
The sad thing, of course, is that this voting is non-binding. Indeed, the voting page itself says “If you could choose, who would you like to participate,” underscoring the fact that we cannot choose. Not all players want to do this thing. Despite the evidence on it not being terribly conclusive, a lot of them think that swinging in the Derby messes them up in the second half of the season. It almost certainly tires them out on a day they’d be resting anyway.
Personally, I’d like to see a skills exhibition with players doing Tom Emansky-style drills, but I’d guess that’s a pipe dream.
In a column published on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres are “aggressively shopping” third baseman Yangervis Solarte. The 29-year-old is entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $2.7 million next season.
This past season, Solarte hit a solid .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances. It’s quite impressive factoring in that he plays in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Given that Solarte is team-controlled for three more years and he offers lots of versatility with previous experience playing first and second base as well as corner outfield, the Padres should receive a fair amount of interest.
Update (6:52 PM EST): The deal is expected to be one year for $13 million, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms the report.
The Yankees are close to signing veteran free agent Matt Holliday, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports.
Holliday, who turns 37 years old next month, was limited to 110 games in 2016 with the Cardinals due to a fractured left thumb suffered in the second half. He finished the season hitting .246/.322/.461 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 426 plate appearances.
Holliday is likely looking at spending the majority of his time in the DH role. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann handled the DH role for a majority of the time last season but all three have moved on — Rodriguez was released in the second half, Beltran just signed with the Astros, and McCann was traded to the Astros last month.