Cuban pitcher Dalier Hinojosa cleared for free agency

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Following yesterday’s news that highly sought after Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is officially a free agent, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that another Cuban pitcher, right-hander Dalier Hinojosa, has also been cleared to sign with MLB teams.

Hinojosa defected from Cuba in February and has been petitioning MLB and the U.S. government for free agent status since. Sanchez writes that the 27-year-old Hinojosa “throws a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s.”

He’s an outright free agent and not subject to the draft because he’s older than 23 with more than three years of experience in Cuba, so expect a big payday.

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.