Orioles talking to the oft-injured Joe Crede

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Joe Crede headshot.jpgThe Orioles are talking to free agent third baseman Joe Crede, reports Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune.

Crede, who turns 32 in April, is coming off his third back surgery
since 2007, so he’d surely have to accept a modest one-year deal at this point. Limited to just 90 games last season, Crede batted .225/.289/.414 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. Rogers calls the Orioles’ interest a “curious development” since they already have
two right-handed third baseman in Garrett Atkins and Ty Wigginton, but
according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Andy MacPhail would prefer to play Atkins at first base. If that’s the case, it pretty much scratches Hank Blalock off their list.

Whoever the Orioles stick at third would merely be a stopgap until top
prospect Josh Bell is ready for the majors. Best-case scenario is that
Crede is healthy — don’t laugh — and productive enough so that the
Orioles could unload him for a prospect around the trade deadline. At worst, he’ll
barely make enough money for his presence on the roster to even matter.

Report: Padres have made offers to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado
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Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.

Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.

The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.

Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.