Link-O-Rama: Francoeur, Hazen, Jeter, Dewey

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* Jeff Francoeur underwent surgery this morning to repair a torn thumb ligament suffered while making a diving catch on August 23. He played through the pain and hit .319/.342/.493 over the final five weeks, finishing at .311/.338/.498 overall in 76 games with the Mets after hitting just .250/.282/.352 in 80 games with the Braves.
* Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen has decided to remain in Boston rather than join Jed Hoyer in San Diego as the Padres’ assistant general manager. Hazen spent two seasons as a minor leaguer in the Padres’ system, but has been in the Red Sox’s front office since 2006.
* Add the “Hank Aaron Award” to the long list of things no one should care about. Joe Mauer led the AL in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, yet Derek Jeter won the award that’s supposed to go to “the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.”
* Speaking of Jeter, last night’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm featured Larry David arguing about the Yankees shortstop’s defense.
* This morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer included a full-page ad congratulating the Phillies on winning back-to-back World Series. In related news, Dewey still hasn’t defeated Truman.

BREAKING: Manny Machado to sign with the Padres: 10 years, $300 million

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Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Manny Machado has a deal with the San Diego Padres. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the deal is for ten years and $300 million with an opt-out after year five.

At the moment there is some disagreement as to how “done” this deal is, with Padres chairman Ron Fowler saying “We do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions.” Ken Rosenthal, however, says that’s “semantics” and that the financial terms are in place, with the deal requiring over some final touches on language and Machado’s physical, which will likely be a formality.

The Padres were a late entrant into the Machado sweepstakes, but they reportedly met with Machado last week. The club has obviously not won for a long time, but they have a strong farm system. While that usually mitigates against a big free agent signing, Machado’s age — 26 — means that he’s still likely to be a productive player when that core of prospects is mature. And if it doesn’t develop, hey, he’s made some serious bank and can still opt-out at an age when he might get another decent paycheck.

For the Padres, Machado represents the biggest single investment in a player in club history. Last year they spent too, of course, giving Eric Hosmer an eight-year, $144 million contract, but this is definitely next-level. As for the baseball side of things, it’s likely that Machado will be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop. While all of the talk about Machado over the past several months has been focused on money and, sometimes, his alleged lack of hustle, the Padres are getting a player with a career line of .282/.335/.487 (121 OPS+), 175 career homers and a 33.8 career WAR in seven big league seasons. While he played shortstop last year and as a minor leaguer, his past and future is at third, where he is a superior defender. As for the hustle: it has almost exclusively been an obsession of the media, based on an ill-advised postgame quote in October. He has received no bad reviews from former teammates, all of whom speak highly of his game and his work ethic.

When the offseason began it appeared that the Phillies or the Yankees or, perhaps, the White Sox had the inside track on Machado. Everyone took a wait-and-see approach, reasonably believing that by waiting out Machado, a better deal could be struck. The risk of that approach, of course, is that it allowed the Padres to talk themselves into getting bold and, ultimately, swooping in to strike this deal.