Ervin Santana wants to sign with a strong offensive team ASAP

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Earlier, we learned that the Phillies might have checked in with free agent starter Ervin Santana. But, wait! There’s more Ervin Santana news.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is hearing from sources that Santana wants to sign a one-year deal as quickly as possible, preferably with a strong offensive team. Rosenthal adds that the Blue Jays and the Orioles fit this description. Santana is willing to sign now rather than wait which would have made him exempt from a qualifying offer for the 2014 season. That’s an important note because the qualifying offer is why he is in his current predicament.

The Phillies averaged the third-fewest runs per game in the National League last season, averaging 3.77 runs per game. They could see a slight uptick in runs with the addition of Marlon Byrd and if their core can stay healthy, but that’s a gamble. The Orioles tied for the fourth-highest RPG in the American League at 4.60, while the Jays were just slightly above the AL average at 4.40. The Mariners, another team commonly linked to Santana, averaged 3.85 runs per game last year.

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.