Now a free agent, No. 6 pick Barret Loux throws for 15 teams

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Selected by Arizona with the sixth overall pick in June’s draft, Texas A&M right-hander Barret Loux was declared a free agent by MLB when a pre-signing physical exam revealed a torn labrum and the Diamondbacks backed out of a $2 million deal.
Now free to sign whenever and with whomever, Loux threw yesterday in front of scouts from approximately 15 teams, with Brian McTaggart of MLB.com listing the Astros, Brewers, Marlins, Rangers, Cubs, Twins, Giants, Phillies, and Mariners among those on hand.
Astros assistant general manager and scouting director Bobby Heck described Houston’s interest in Loux as “sincere” and noted that several other teams could have the budget to bid for him after failing to sign their own first-round pick. San Diego and Milwaukee definitely fit that description. Loux is unlikely to end up with the same $2 million he would’ve gotten from Arizona, but it sounds like he’ll still get a nice chunk of change.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks used that money to go over the MLB-recommended “slot” bonuses for other draftees and will receive the seventh overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation for not signing Loux.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: