American League All-Star voting update: Royals, Royals, and more Royals

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It’s time for MLB’s weekly All-Star voting update and on the American League side the Royals continue to dominate.

Kansas City currently has the top vote-getter at seven spots:

Catcher – Salvador Perez
First base – Eric Hosmer
Third base – Mike Moustakas
Shortstop – Alcides Escobar
Outfield – Alex Gordon
Outfield – Lorenzo Cain
Designated Hitter – Kendrys Morales

Second base and the third outfield spot are the only positions where the Royals don’t have the voting leader and even then Omar Infante and Alex Rios have the next-highest vote totals.

Keeping in mind that there’s still a long way to go in the voting, here are the position-by-position totals:

source:

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.