Dontrelle Willis is in the best shape of his life

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Boy, it’s a rare treat to get a BSOHL story in July, but we have one! It’s Dontrelle Willis, who was scratched from his start down at AAA Louisville yesterday. The speculation was that he was going to get called up to Cincinnati to fill in for Bronson Arroyo, who was complaining of dizziness, but it seems Arroyo is better now.

Willis is good too: he has a 2.63 ERA in 13 starts and — key for him — he has a 3.35 K/BB ratio, suggesting that he may have a handle on what has been ailing him these past few years.

But the real story here are the words of Willis’ agent, Matt Sosnick, who puts us in mind of spring training with his assessment of his client’s state of health:

“I feel strongly that he has turned the corner.  He’s in the best shape of his career and is throwing with the highest velocity he’s ever had.  I feel very confident that he will be an impact player in the Major Leagues this year and for many years to come.”

All that’s missing for perfection is something about how Willis has been working on a new pitch.

(thanks to Hannah for the heads up)

Report: Padres have made offers to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.

Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.

The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.

Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.