MLB All-Star Game rosters and snubs; Assessing the DeMar DeRozan deal

Written by on July 8, 2024

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⚾ Good morning to everyone, but especially to …


After revealing its starting lineups last week, MLB released the rest of the All-Star Game rosters Sunday. I won’t list every single player selected — you can see that right here — but I will give you some highlights among the reserves and pitchers.

There are 32 first-time selections overall, and Paul Skenes leads the way. He’s the first player in MLB history to be drafted first overall one year and make the All-Star team the next. The Pirates‘ superstar boasts a 5-0 record and a 2.12 ERA.

Matt Snyder says Skenes deserves to start the All-Star Game.

Speaking of strikeouts, MLB leader Garrett Crochet (146 Ks) was unsurprisingly the White Sox‘ only selection. How much longer he’ll be with them, though, is arguably a bigger storyline than the selection. R.J. Anderson has Crochet atop his top 30 players who could be on the move this trade deadline.

  • Anderson: “There’s no reason to doubt a healthy Crochet’s ability; he’s introduced a cutter that works as a bridge pitch between his fastball and slider, giving him the kind of interplay that has transformed him into an above-average starter. All the stars in the sky will eventually burn out; Crochet will too. But first, if the heavens allow, the probable best starter moved this deadline could help determine who wins a pennant this October. Potential suitors: Orioles, Dodgers, Padres

The Phillies have the majors’ best record and, fittingly, the most All-Star selections, with seven.

  • Bryce Harper
  • Trea Turner
  • Alex Bohm
  • Jeff Hoffman
  • Matt Strahm
  • Ranger Suarez
  • Zack Wheeler

😁 Honorable mentions

😠 And not such a good morning for …


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All-Star selections are a great honor. They’re also an imperfect science. Starters are determined by fans; reserves and pitchers by players and the Commissioner’s Office. Snubs have happened before and will happen again … forever.

But which snubs are particularly egregious? Matt has snubs for every position. Let’s start at the hot corner.

  • Snyder: Jordan Westburg, Orioles. Perhaps the biggest head-scratcher of a snub is right here. Westburg is hitting .281 with a .506 slugging percentage this season. A true stat-sheet filler, he has 20 doubles, five triples, 14 homers, 49 RBI, 44 runs and six stolen bases.”

As for the pitchers, Matt says …

  • Snyder: Ronel Blanco, Astros. Blanco would’ve been a great story as an All-Star, and he still might be. He only had 58 1/3 career innings heading into this season as a 30-year-old. He was thrust into the Astros’ rotation due to injury. In 16 starts this season, Blanco is 8-3 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and he even threw a no-hitter.”

Two things to keep in mind before you get too upset, though:

  1. The rule that every team must have at least one All-Star limits deserving candidates’ chances. There’s no way around it.
  2. Spots will open up to replace injured players or starters who pitch Sunday, so not all snubs now may be snubs in a week.

😣 Not so honorable mentions

🏀 Kings land DeMar DeRozan in three-team sign-and-trade


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The Kings completed a three-team deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to Sacramento. Here are the full details of the sign-and-trade.

  • Kings receive: DeMar DeRozan
  • Bulls receive: Chris Duarte, two second-round picks
  • Spurs receive: Harrison Barnes, unprotected 2031 first-round pick swap with Sacramento

DeRozan’s deal is for three years and $74 million.

DeRozan, who turns 35 next month, remains a polarizing player. He can still really score — last season was his third straight averaging at least 24 points — and he has played at least 74 games in three straight campaigns. He was the Clutch Player of the Year runner-up last season, too.

But he’s a subpar defender who rarely shoots 3-pointers, which limits his efficiency. Among the 22 players who averaged at least 24 points last season, DeRozan was last in effective field goal percentage.

As such, our experts’ thoughts are similarly mixed. Brad Botkin likes that DeRozan raises Sacramento’s floor, and he added the Kings to his offseason winners.

Sam Quinn, meanwhile, gave the Kings a D- in his trade grades.“This trade screams impatience from an organization that had no need to rush for the wrong fit,” he writes. One team, however, did well in his estimation.

  • Quinn:Spurs: A+The Spurs just keep finding ways to extract valuable first-round pick swaps out of financially desperate teams several years down the line. At this moment, they control five swaps between 2026 and 2031. … There is a very clear plan in place here. The Spurs don’t really care about their present. They are not rushing their rebuild, unlike Sacramento. They have three years left on Victor Wembanyama‘s rookie deal, and they intend to use those years to financially prepare for his entire career, not just the next brief stretch of it.”

Sam also examined how the Spurs and Thunder are approaching the second apron, a great look at the looming specter created by the new CBA.

🎾 Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek out at Wimbledon; men’s top five still intact


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Wimbledon may no longer have Manic Monday, but there was plenty of mania over the weekend on the women’s side. Top-seeded Iga Swiatek and No. 2 seed Coco Gauff both fell in surprising fashion, leaving the draw wide open as we enter the back half of the fortnight at the All England Club.

Let’s start with Gauff, who lost in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, to fellow American and 19th-ranked Emma Navarro. Navarro was excellent on the biggest stage of her career with a reliable first serve and strong defense, while Gauff committed 25 unforced errors. Navarro is a former NCAA champion at Virginia, but this was certainly unexpected after Gauff cruised through the first three rounds. Navarro is into her first slam quarterfinal.

That came one day after an even bigger stunner. Swiatek entered her match against unranked Yulia Putintseva having won 21 consecutive matches, and it looked like that would get to 22 after a fairly straightforward first set. But Putintseva turned the tables, rallying for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win.

Swiatek, a four-time French Open champ and one-time US Open winner, still can’t figure out the Wimbledon grass; she’s never gotten past the quarterfinals.

On the men’s side, it’s pretty chalky. Each of the top five seeds — Jannick Sinner, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev — remains alive.

Vikings rookie Khyree Jackson among three dead in car crash


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Vikings rookie cornerback Khyree Jackson was among three men who died early Saturday morning in a car crash. Jackson, a fourth-round pick out of Oregon, was 24.

  • Investigators believe an Infiniti Q50 attempting to change lanes at a high rate of speed hit the Dodge Charger that Jackson was in. The Charger then left the road and collided with several tree stumps.
  • All three occupants of the Charger — Jackson, former Maryland and Charlotte player Isaiah Hazel, and former Florida State and Penn State player Anthony Lytton Jr. — died. They were high school teammates.
  • All three occupants of the Infiniti Q50 were uninjured, as was an occupant of another car the Infiniti Q50 hit. Investigators believe alcohol may have contributed to the crash.

Jackson was in the mix to start for the Vikings and had endeared himself to fans with his remarkable story. After graduating high school without meeting NCAA requirements, he worked at a grocery store and attended three junior colleges. He eventually landed at Alabama and then Oregon before being drafted.

“I am absolutely crushed by this news. Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said in a statement.

📺 What we’re watching Monday

🎾 Wimbledon, 6 a.m. on ESPN2 and 8 a.m. on ESPN
Mets at Pirates, 12:35 p.m. on MLB Network
Guardians at Tigers, 6:40 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Utah Summer League — Thunder vs. 76ers, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Utah Summer League — Grizzlies vs. Jazz, 9 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Lynx at Sparks, 10 p.m. on WNBA League Pass

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