Cardinals’ GM denies team has deal in place with Roy Oswalt

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There was increasing chatter late last night about Roy Oswalt closing in on an agreement with the Cardinals. Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com was even told by a source that the veteran right-hander was headed to St. Louis. Those reports were downplayed early this morning and now we have an official denial from the team’s general manager.

Matthew Leach of MLB.com was told by Cardinals GM John Mozeliak via email this morning that rumors of an agreement are “not true.” Another club official indicated that no roster moves appear to be imminent.

Does this mean it won’t happen? Of course not. We’ve heard multiple times this week that Oswalt wants to pitch closer in proximity to his Mississippi home and would prefer to join either the Cardinals or the Rangers. And it sounds like he means business. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Oswalt recently turned down a one-year, $10 million contract from the Tigers. It’s highly unlikely he’ll get that much guaranteed cash from anyone else.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that while the Rangers are interested in Oswalt, they have not made him an offer.

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.