Must-click link: The struggles of Shaq Thompson

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Some of you may have heard about the struggles of Shaq Thompson, who was selected by the Red Sox in the 18th round of last month’s First-Year Player Draft.

The 18-year-old outfielder put a bow on his first professional season yesterday by going 0-for-2 with a strikeout for the organization’s rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate. He will now head to the University of Washington to begin his football season, so he’ll finish his pro debut at 0-for-39 with 37 strikeouts.

Thompson’s early struggles have made him a punchline in certain circles, but Alex Speier of WEEI.com has penned an excellent piece providing some greater context on his situation. Hopefully this is just a footnote on a productive career, no matter which path he chooses.

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

Manny Machado
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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.