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.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

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Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.