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Astros sign outfielder Josh Reddick to a four-year, $52 million contract

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Update (6:05 PM EST): It’s a four-year, $52 million deal, per Passan.

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The Astros aren’t done. After acquiring catcher Brian McCann from the Yankees, the Astros have signed free agent outfielder Josh Reddick to a contract, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. The deal is expected to exceed $50 million in total.

Reddick, 29, started the 2016 season with the Athletics but was sent to the Dodgers ahead of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline along with starter Rich Hill. Reddick had an .816 OPS with the A’s but could only muster a .643 OPS with the Dodgers.

With Colby Rasmus, Luis Valbuena, and Jason Castro departing to free agency, the Astros were in need of left-handed bats and addressed it on Thursday with McCann and Reddick.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

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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.