Mariners spent MLB-high $6.5 million signing international prospects in 2010

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Ben Badler of Baseball America has put together a ton of great content breaking down the 2010 international prospect class in every possible way, including a list of team-by-team spending.

Seattle leads the way by shelling out $6.47 million on international prospects in 2010, including $2.2 million for Dominican outfielder Phillips Castillo, $1.1 million on Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, $850,000 on Colombian right-hander Jose Torres, and $650,000 on Venezuelan left-hander Luis Pina.

No other team was within $1 million of the Mariners’ international spending, as the Yankees ranked second at $5.27 million followed by the the Astros at $5.13 million and the Pirates at $5 million. At the bottom of the list are the Dodgers ($314,000) and White Sox ($345,000), who each spent less than the MLB minimum salary on international prospects last year.

There’s a whole lot more good info where that came from, so check out the rest of Badler’s international year-in-review.

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: