Curt Young leaves as A’s pitching coach; where’s he headed?

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The Athletics just announced in a press release that Curt Young has declined the team’s offer to return as pitching coach next season.

Young, who was originally drafted by the A’s in 1981, spent 27 years in the organization, including the past seven as the team’s pitching coach. Overseeing the youngest pitching staff in the majors this season, the A’s led the American League with a 3.56 ERA.

“Curt has a long history within our organization and we appreciate all of his contributions to the A’s-as a player, as a minor league coach, and ultimately as the pitching coach here in Oakland,” said David Forst, A’s assistant general manager. “We are disappointed that he has chosen not to accept our offer to return in 2011 but we wish him well as he explores other opportunities within the game.”

Both Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe see Young as a possible fit with the Red Sox since John Farrell is expected to be named as Blue Jays manager, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that he will likely join Kirk Gibson’s staff in Arizona.

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.