Jake Westbrook expected to rejoin Cardinals this week

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Out since May 12 with elbow inflammation, Jake Westbrook tossed seven innings of one-run ball yesterday at Single-A and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that it’ll likely be his final minor-league rehab start.

Westbrook struck out five, walked zero, and threw 76 total pitches, with Goold writing that the veteran right-hander “could be ready to rejoin the big-league rotation as early as Friday.”

Westbrook had a 10/0 K/BB ratio in two rehab starts, allowing two runs in 10.2 total innings, and he had a 1.62 ERA in six starts with the Cardinals before the injury. And it just so happens that Friday’s opponent would be the Marlins, giving Westbrook the easiest possible matchup for his return.

The Orioles are “moving aggressively” to trade Manny Machado

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.

Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.

Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.