The Marlins have made a couple of questionable moves this offseason. This won’t be one of them.
A source told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that the Fish are nearing a contract with free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez. The Nationals, Rockies, Cardinals and Cubs all showed interest, but Javy has a home in south Florida and that may have helped the Marlins win him over.
Vazquez is thought to be seeking an incentive-laden one-year contract in the hopes of revitalizing his career. A recipient of Cy Young Award votes in 2009, he posted an ugly 5.32 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 31 appearances (26 starts) for the Yankees this past season.
Many believe that he’ll be able to bounce back with a move back to the National League.
Vazquez was offered arbitration by the Yankees and will net his old team a supplemental round draft pick once his new contract is signed.
UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com says the deal is done. As expected, it’s s a one-year contract, and probably packed with performance-based incentives.
UPDATE II: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the contract is worth between $6 million and $7 million. A bargain for the Marlins if Javy can turn things around.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.