The first round of NL All-Star balloting results has been released

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Yesterday was the AL, today the Senior Circuit. Here are the vote leaders by position:

  • First Base: Joey Votto, 1,044,742
  • Second Base: Brandon Phillips, 1,019,240
  • Third Base: Pablo Sandoval, 1,094,475
  • Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, 1,025,844
  • Outfield: Justin Upton, 1,184,249, Bryce Harper, 1,182,532, Ryan Braun 945,665
  • Catcher: Buster Posey, 1,275,956

They don’t do DH balloting in the NL, obviously.  All of the vote totals can be seen here.

While the Reds and Giants are more than well-represented in the top slots, I feel like there is some Braves ballot-box stuffing going on too. Dan Uggla is the fifth place second baseman. Some 400,000+ people think B.J. Upton deserves to be in the All-Star Game. That’s worse than voting for an immobile and inactive Derek Jeter. At least Jeter would play well if he could, you know, walk.

No one is particularly close to Votto, Phillips, Tulowitzki, or Posey. David Wright is within striking distance of Sandoval. Carlos Beltran is a pretty strong fourth outfielder at the moment.  If I remember correctly, Cardinals players surged in later vote tabulations last year, so maybe there’s hope for him and Molina and others.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.