It’s time for MLB’s weekly All-Star game voting update.
Yesterday we learned that seven Royals were the AL’s leading vote-getters at their respective positions. There’s nothing quite that noteworthy on the NL side, but Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper continues to lead in votes with 3.7 million, followed by Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter with 3.1 million.
Here’s what the NL’s starting lineup would like based on current voting:
Catcher – Yadier Molina, Cardinals
First base – Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Second base – Dee Gordon, Marlins
Third base – Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Shortstop – Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
Outfield – Bryce Harper, Nationals
Outfield – Matt Holliday, Cardinals
Outfield – Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Kolten Wong is only 100,000 votes behind Gordon at second base, which would give the Cardinals five of the eight starters. Of course, Buster Posey of the Giants is only 5,000 behind Molina at catcher.
Here are the position-by-position totals:
Right-hander Sergio Santos has signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees after being released by the Dodgers last week.
Santos saved 30 games as the White Sox’s closer in 2011, but he’s struggled to stay healthy since then while logging a total of just 65 innings in four years. He posted a 4.73 ERA and 15/7 K/BB ratio in 13 innings for the Dodgers before being let go.
He throws hard and generates plenty of strikeouts, but Santos’ control and durability are both big issues. For now he’ll head to Double-A and try to convince the Yankees he’s worthy of a middle relief gig.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon announced recently that he’s going to a closer-by-committee approach and now the team has signed free agent reliever Rafael Soriano, who saved 30-plus games in each of the past three seasons.
Last month Soriano fired his agent, Scott Boras, and scheduled a throwing session for interested teams to come watch him in an effort to land a job for the second half. He previously pitched for Maddon with the Rays in 2010, when Soriano saved a league-high 45 games.
Soriano had a very rough second half for the Nationals last season, which along with being 35 years old and reportedly holding out for big money led to him going unsigned. However, he has a long track record of late-inning excellence that includes a 2.85 ERA and 637 strikeouts in 631 career innings and Soriano has posted a sub-3.25 ERA in eight of the past nine seasons.
It’s a minor-league contract, so expect Soriano to make at least a few appearances in the minors to get back into game shape before joining the Cubs’ bullpen. And don’t be surprised if he’s pitching the ninth inning in Chicago relatively soon. James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the deal has a prorated base salary of $4.1 million, plus another $4 million in potential incentives.