Daily Distractions: Dodgers sign Dominican outfielder; more HOF; LaRoche re-signs in Washington.

A small but historic signing today. According to BaseballAmerica.com, the Dodgers have signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Ariel Sandoval for $150,000. Writes Ben Badler:

Sandoval is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and impressed the Dodgers with his potential to hit for both average and power from the right side of the plate. He’s an above-average runner who should begin his career in center field, though he has the arm strength to play right field if he outgrows the position.

Sandoval, who became eligible to sign on July 2, trained in Haina with Jaime Ozuna. Sandoval is the first six-figure international amateur signing for the Dodgers since vice president of international scouting Bob Engle and Latin American coordinator Patrick Guerrero arrived from Seattle after the 2012 season.

Lots of Hall of Fame debate today with the final voting coming tomorrow. As I often say, there’s nothing like parsing through the moral crises of a bunch of cranky sports writers to start your morning off right …
• One veteran baseball writer of 53 years is opting out of Hall of Fame voting after the 2014 season.

• A valid question: Why are ballots limited to 10 players again?

• MLB.com writers reveal their HOF ballots. Two are voting for Jack Morris and no one else. Only one is voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.

Alex Rodriguez can blame his crappy playoff performance on his hip, says his hip surgeon.

• Clemens: Hall of Famer, Houston Astros coach, or both?

• Orange County native Adam LaRoche is re-signing with the Washington Nationals on a two-year deal, according to multiple reports. The popular theory is that Michael Morse is on the trading block, since the Nationals have three starting outfielders (Bryce Harper, Denard Span, Jayson Werth) plus a starting first baseman in LaRoche.

• Hours before the Dodgers announced the J.P. Howell signing Monday, the Milwaukee Brewers took another left-handed reliever off the market Monday: Mike Gonzalez.

• Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” has been covered many times in a short span – usually the sign of a great song. Here’s one Crazy cover that flies smoothly, slowly under the radar:

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