Mike Pelfrey adjusts his cap after giving a run to the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Florida

The Mets are interested in trading Mike Pelfrey

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Our own Matthew Pouliot recently suggested that the Mets should cut their losses and release Mike Pelfrey, recouping three-quarters of his $5.6875 million salary for 2012. That doesn’t appear likely to happen, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com passes along word that the club would like to trade him.

Pelfrey is coming off a 4.74 ERA last season and has a 14.90 ERA over his first three starts this spring, so the Mets would almost certainly have to foot most of the bill. And because the 28-year-old right-hander is projected to get a raise again this winter through the arbitration process, he’s already an obvious non-tender candidate. Similar to the John Lannan situation with the Nationals, it’s unlikely the Mets would get anything of value in return.

The other major factor here is that the Mets have very little in the way of starting pitching depth. The possible alternatives to take his place include the likes of 40-year-old Miguel Batista, Chris Schwinden or Jeremy Hefner. Pelfrey isn’t anything special, but he has averaged 196 innings over the past four seasons. There’s some value there, especially with Johan Santana still a question mark.

Dealing Pelfrey when his value is at its absolute nadir just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, at least for the Mets. If he gets off to a hot start, I could definitely see it. But not now.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.

The Dodgers asked the Tigers about Justin Verlander this offseason

DETROIT, MI - MAY 18: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 18, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.

It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.

The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.

So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.