Report: Max Scherzer “close” to signing a seven-year deal

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Free agent starter Max Scherzer is in discussions with the Nationals and at least one other team about a seven-year contract, per a report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports verifies the report, adding that there’s growing confidence among Nationals officials that they’ll land Scherzer and that a deal is “close”.

Should they succeed in signing Scherzer, the Nationals could then trade starter Jordan Zimmermann, per Jon Morosi. Stephen Strasburg is another trade candidate, though Zimmermann is the most likely to be moved.

Scherzer, 30, won the American League Cy Young award in 2013, leading the league in wins with 21 while posting a 2.90 ERA and a 240/56 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. This past season, he was nearly as good, leading the league with 18 wins with a 3.15 ERA and a 252/63 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings.

Report: Rangers sign Jordan Lyles to two-year, $16 million deal

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and pitcher Jordan Lyles have agreed to a contract. ESPN’s Jeff Passan provided the details, reporting that it is a two-year, $16 million deal.

Lyles, 29, split last season between the Pirates and Brewers, performing much better with the latter. Overall, he compiled a 4.15 ERA with a 146 strikeouts and 55 walks across 141 innings. It was a return to full-time starting for Lyles, who had performed mostly as a reliever from 2016-18.

The Rangers also inked Kyle Gibson to a three-year, $30 million contract last week. Gibson and Lyles will join a rotation that also includes Mike Minor and Lance Lynn as well as youngster Kolby Allard.