The Diamondbacks sign Eric Hinske

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I don’t think this is one we’d even bother with if it didn’t happen during the week of the Winter Meetings, but hey, a signing is a signing: Ken Rosenthal reports the Diamondbacks have signed Eric Hinske to a one-year deal.

Hinske used to dictate which team won the AL pennant, having played for the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. That changed as he has spent the past three years on the Braves’ bench, having a fine year in 2010, an OK year in 2011 and cratering last year.

So, if the Dbacks want him for his bat, he had better turn things around. If they want him for his AL pennant-winning powers, well, then they have bigger problems because, dudes, Arizona is not in the AL.

 

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: