The Nationals are dangling Pudge Rodriguez; may be delusional about his value

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People have been speculating about this since Buster Posey got hurt last week, but Buster Olney reports that the Nationals have “reached out” to the Giants to gauge their interest in Ivan Rodriguez.

Based on what Mike Rizzo had to say in today’s Washington Post, however, the Giants will actually have to give something up to land the Nats’ .211/.259/.342, nearly 40-year-old catcher:

“To move him, it would have to be a good deal that helps us long term, not a quick fix trade for offense to get us to the time when Ryan Zimmerman is back,” Rizzo said. “Pudge would be a big piece for a contending team if they needed a catcher.”

Look, you love Pudge. I love Pudge. Everyone loves Pudge. And I get that Mike Rizzo’s job is to try to drive the best bargains he can for the Nationals.  But to think that anyone is going to give up anything of real value for him is suffering from delusions of some kind.

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: