Padres sign Jeff Franceour to minor league contract

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New home for HardballTalk favorite Jeff Francoeur.

MLB.com beat writer Corey Brock reports that the Padres have signed the veteran outfielder to a minor league contract. He will report to the minor league side of Padres camp on Wednesday morning.

Francoeur was cut by the Indians last week despite batting .286/.359/.429 with 10 RBI in 13 games.

The 30-year-old hit just .204/.238/.298 in 256 plate appearances last season between the Royals and Giants, and he admitted to feelings of depression during the end of his tenure in San Francisco.

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.