Royals sign lefty Doug Davis to minor league deal

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From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that the Royals have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with left-hander Doug Davis.

Davis will report to extended spring training in Arizona and spend a few weeks working out there before joining the rotation at Triple-A Omaha.

A 36-year-old former 10th-round pick, he failed to attract free agent interest this winter and spring after registering a 6.50 ERA, 1.86 WHIP and 36/26 K/BB ratio across 45 2/3 innings (nine starts) last year for the Cubs.

The Royals could give Davis a shot in the majors eventually if he gets off to a nice start on the farm.

Kansas City’s staff ERA was 4.85 entering play Saturday, which ranked 27th among the 30 MLB teams.

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.