Orioles “are in serious negotiations” for J.J. Hardy

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Yesterday the Orioles were said to be close to sending Nolan Reimold to the Rays for Jason Bartlett, but that deal fell through and Baltimore’s shortstop search has moved on to J.J. Hardy.

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun the Orioles “are in serious negotiations” to acquire the Twins shortstop and are offering up a pair of minor-league pitchers, one of whom is believed to be 24-year-old reliever Brett Jacobson.

Minnesota has been shopping Hardy since winning the exclusive negotiating rights to Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Baltimore has been linked to nearly every available shortstop for the past month, so the deal would certainly make sense.

By trading Hardy the Twins would be placing a lot of trust in both Nishioka and Alexi Casilla as their new middle infield duo, but Ron Gardenhire and company apparently soured on Hardy despite his excellent defense and above-average offense for the position.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.

Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.

At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.