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Diamondbacks acquire J.D. Martinez from Tigers for three prospects

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Update (6:40 PM ET): Nick Piecoro reports that the Tigers will receive prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King from the Diamondbacks.

Lugo, 22, was originally signed by the Blue Jays out of the Dominican Republic for a $1.3 million signing bonus. The Jays sent him to the D-Backs in August 2015 for infielder Cliff Pennington. This season, with Double-A Jackson, Lugo hit .282/.325/.428 with seven home runs and 43 RBI in 369 plate appearances. He has mostly played third base this year but has also played some shortstop.

Alcantara, 21, was signed by the Diamondbacks in July 2012. He has had stops at various levels of Single-A over the last five years. This season, with High-A Visalia, Alcantara hit .279/.344/.362 with three home runs, 28 RBI, and 11 stolen bases in 378 PA. He has spent the overwhelming majority of his minor league career playing shortstop, but has logged some time at second base.

King, 18, was signed by the Diamondbacks in October 2015. This season, in rookie ball, he hit .261/.333/.348. He has spent nearly equal amounts of time playing second base and shortstop.

Lugo was the Diamondbacks’ No. 4 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Alcantara was No. 15 and King did not make the top-30.

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The Diamondbacks will acquire outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers. Jon Morosi had the original report and Jeff Passan confirmed.

Martinez, 29, is hitting .305/.388/.630 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI in 232 plate appearances this season. He missed the first five weeks of the season with a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot. Martinez will become a free agent after the season, so this is strictly a rental for the Diamondbacks.

The 53-39 Diamondbacks are 10.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, but currently lead the Rockies by a half-game for the first of two Wild Card slots. Adding Martinez gives them a big bat to help in the final two and a half months of the season.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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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.