Not much new in the American League All-Star voting, the tallies for which were just released by Major League Baseball. Jose Bautista is the first player to surpass the four-million mark with 4,156,940 votes. Bautista continues to be joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson and Josh Hamilton, though Jacoby Ellsbury is only a couple hundred thousand votes behind Hamilton.
On the infield, Robinson Cano leads all vote-getters, and is second in overall voting to Bautista. Derek Jeter inexplicably remains the leader at short, around 400,000 votes in front of Asdrubal Cabrera. A-Rod leads at third. While the race at first was once close, Adrian Gonzalez has taken a comfortable lead over Mark Teixeira. David Ortiz is the DH. Russell Martin remains roughly a half million votes ahead of Alex Avila behind the plate.
Voting in ballparks ends this Friday. Voting online at MLB.com goes until June 30th. Though to be honest, this looks like it’s going to be the starting slate given the margins at play.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.