Mariners close to signing John Buck

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Seattle is “very close” to signing catcher John Buck to a one-year contract, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Buck has been a starter for most of the past decade, but he’d serve as a veteran backup to Mike Zunino with the Mariners.

Buck has always had good power for a catcher and smacked 15 homers in 110 games for the Mets and Pirates last season, but he also hit just .219 with a ghastly .285 on-base percentage and .648 OPS. He hasn’t cracked a .700 OPS since 2009, so transitioning to a part-time role at age 33 makes sense.

Max Scherzer (hamstring) leaves start vs. Mets after just 1 inning

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WASHINGTON — Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start for the Nationals against the New York Mets after just 27 pitches Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the top of the second by Erick Fedde.

Scherzer was not as sharp as usual at the outset Wednesday, going 2-0 counts against each of New York’s initial two batters, walking one and giving up a single to the other.

The Mets eventually went ahead in the first on Dominic Smith‘s sacrifice fly.

Scherzer entered the game with an 0-1 record and 2.84 ERA this season.