Must-Click Link: Ryan Westmoreland’s long road back

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Charles Pierce has a major piece on Ryan Westmoreland, the Red Sox farmhand who last year was diagnosed with a congenital condition that led to brain surgery and a long, long road back to baseball:

Over the past year, Ryan Westmoreland had to teach himself how to relearn all the most basic things that made him the person he was before he ever picked up a bat. He had to learn how to remember how to do things he had learned to do before. He had to visualize how he used to look when he ran, because that would help him remember how to run again. He was 19, and he had to wrestle with the most basic question of all. He had to learn how to remember who he really was.

Thanks to MooseInOhio for the heads up.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.