NL All-Star ballot update: Pujols remains tops at first, but for how long?

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Major League Baseball just announced the latest vote tallies for the National League All-Stars. In light of today’s news, the totals at first base are the most notable: Albert Pujols leads Joey Votto 2,806,864 to 2,270,211.

Obviously the vote totals don’t reflect the fact that Pujols was knocked out yesterday and only announced as being unavailable for the All-Star Game today. I’ll be curious to see, however, how much ground Votto closes in the four days (in-stadium) and ten days (online) between now and when voting ends. I assume not by enough, but it will be neat to see how much Pujols’ unavailability filters into the vote.

Elsewhere, there are close battles at second base, where Brandon Phillips leads Rickie Weeks by fewer than 200,000 votes and shortstop, where Troy Tulowitzki leads Jose Reyes by around 400,000 or so.

If it all ended today, your starters would be Brian McCann behind the plate, Pujols (subbed with Votto, most likely), Phillips, Tulowitzki, Placido Polanco, Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.