Josh Beckett throws bullpen session, but not close to return

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On the disabled list with lower back soreness for the past five weeks, Josh Beckett threw a bullpen session yesterday at Fenway Park.
According to general manager Theo Epstein he’ll likely need at least one more throwing session before potentially beginning a minor-league rehab assignment.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe speculates that “the earliest he could return is roughly the first week of July, but it’s likely to be later than that as the Sox will want to make sure Beckett is OK and not in danger of altering his mechanics.”
Beckett had a 7.29 ERA in eight starts before landing on the disabled list, including back-to-back ugly outings against the Yankees that saw him allow 14 runs in 10 innings before being shut down.

Orioles “have begun fielding calls of interest” on Manny Machado

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”

You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.

Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.

Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.