The Padres signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a minor league deal at the end of March, a week after he was released by the Indians. Francoeur, 30, had adequate results, posting a .788 OPS in 35 at-bats with the Indians during spring training, but the team just didn’t have room with him in their outfield, so he moved over to the Padres.
Francoeur reported to Triple-A El Paso and his new teammates banded together to pull off an elaborate prank on him. They pretended that pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf and Francoeur bit it, hook, line, and sinker, despite some obvious tells. Watch the prank in the video below, which includes Francoeur’s reaction when he learns the truth:
Tip of the cap to Nick Piecoro.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”