Chris Young to opt out of minor league contract with Nationals

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According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, right-hander Chris Young has filed the paperwork to opt out of his minor league contract with the Nationals. The team now has 24 hours to add him to the roster, but they are expected to let him hit the free agent market.

Young was solid in his latest Grapefruit League start earlier this evening against the Astros, allowing only an unearned run over four innings of work. He owns a 2.25 ERA and 9/7 K/BB ratio in 16 innings this spring.

Young, who turns 34 in May, posted a 4.15 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio in 115 innings over 20 starts with the Mets last season. He’s hoping to find a home in a major league rotation somewhere.

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.