A couple of weeks ago, Dontrelle Willis left the Orioles. He says he did so with permission. The Orioles said he was AWOL. The team put him on the restricted list. Willis filed a grievance and his agent went off on the Orioles. That relationship looked to be over.
But cooler heads have prevailed: Jerry Crasnick reports that Willis has dropped his grievance and will rejoin the team.
The apparent reason: the Orioles are going to let him try starting. Word at the time was that Willis left the team for the precise reason that he wanted to start, not be a relief pitcher. Never mind that most people figure that the only shot Willis has of keeping a job in baseball now is as a lefty specialist.
So, peace in our time. I suspect that Willis is going to regret getting what he asked for, but at least everyone has stopped bickering.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.