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.

Giants sign Drew Smyly to one-year deal

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The Giants announced on Thursday that the club inked pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year contract. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, the contract is of the major league variety.

Smyly, 30, split last season between the Rangers and Phillies with a stint with the Brewers in between. He did not appear in a major league game with the Brewers. In aggregate, Smyly posted a 6.24 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 55 walks over 114 innings.

Smyly will vie for a spot at the back of the Giants’ starting rotation. If he doesn’t make the cut, he could work out of the bullpen. Pitching in the spacious confines of Oracle Park should help Smyly, who gave up 19 homers in Texas and 13 in Philly last season in more hitter-friendly parks.