Orioles looking at Fernando Rodney as Grant Balfour alternative

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Grant Balfour’s two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles is in jeopardy because the team didn’t like what it saw during his pre-signing physical exam and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re turning their attention to Fernando Rodney.

Any pursuit of Rodney would only happen if Balfour’s deal is wiped away, but Connolly suggests that’s “likely” to happen now.

Comparing their numbers over the past two seasons …

               BALFOUR     RODNEY
Innings            137        141
ERA               2.56       1.91
SO/9               9.4       10.1
BB/9               3.6        3.2
HR/9               0.7        0.3
AVG against       .182       .189
Save %            92.5       89.4

Pretty damn close. It’ll be interesting to see if the money ends up close too.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Javier Baez made a couple of fantastic plays last night

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Javier Baez is a second baseman. He’s played a good bit of shortstop and, if he played for some other teams, he may be an everyday shortstop, but he’s the Cubs’ second baseman.

With Addision Russell out with some shoulder issues, however, Baez got the call at short last night for the Cubs-Nats game in Washington. It was a good call, as he made a couple of spectacular plays in the field.

First up is this highway robbery of Bryce Harper, who thought he had a base hit. It was a good thought, too, as he hit the ball like a dang rocket:

Later, when Adam Lind was up to bat, he fouled one off behind third base. Baez got on his horse and did this:

That inspired Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper to use the old line the great Harry Kalas used about Garry Maddox: “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.” It’s a great line, and aptly used to describe Javier Baez’s Monday night.