UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that it’s a one-year, $3 million deal, pending a physical.
12:41 p.m. ET: Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM reports that the Braves are on the verge of signing Alberto Callaspo. Fredi Gonzalez told him himself, actually.
The Braves, who have moved on from the Dan Uggla era and who recently traded Tommy La Stella, will probably use Callaspo at second base. Callaspo can, however, play anywhere in the infield and, in the past, played corner outfield spots as well, so using him as a super-utility player is not out of the question either.
His 2014 was not one he’d like to remember — Callaspo hit only .223/.290/.290. — but in the previous five seasons he was at or above league average on offense every single season, so there’s a chance for a bounceback.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.