Max Scherzer was optioned to Triple-A Toledo last weekend after opening the season with a 1-4 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP through his first eight starts. The demotion was understandable, given the Tigers’ presence near the top of the AL Central standings, but it looks like he won’t be in the minors for long.
According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Scherzer, 25, fired eight shutout innings Thursday in his first start for the Toledo MudHens, fanning 10 batters and allowing just one hit. He threw 67 of his 103 pitches for strikes and topped out at 97 MPH with his fastball.
The Tigers obviously won’t rush Scherzer back because of the way he pitched over the regular season’s first six weeks. But one or two more starts like tonight’s and he’ll be right back in Detroit.
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.