The state of the Braves-Diamondbacks negotiations on Justin Upton

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Yesterday Buster Olney reported that the Braves and Diamondbacks were in serious negotiations about Justin Upton. Now we have some backfill from Ken Rosenthal and David O’Brien about where that stands.

From O’Brien, on the kind of haul the Diamondbacks may get:

That’s pitching prospect Julio Teheran. It’s not really surprising to see his name there as the Braves have a pitching surplus and it was expected that they’d trade either Teheran or Randall Delgado if they were to add a big bat this offseason.  One thing O’Brien stresses in later tweets, though, is that shortstop Andrelton Simmons is NOT on the table. At all. The Braves view him as basically untouchable.

As for the timetable of things, Rosenthal reports that the offer is in the Diamondbacks’ laps and the Braves are waiting for their answer.  He also adds that Kevin Towers wants to make a deal by Friday:

Africa, eh? Then the clock is ticking. All I know is that it’s gonna take a lot to take Upton away from them. And I suspect that there’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do to improve upon the offer they have from Upton.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.