Mike Fiers
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Report: Athletics close to re-signing Mike Fiers

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Free agent right-hander Mike Fiers is nearing a deal with the Athletics, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Saturday. While it doesn’t appear the deal has been formally announced yet, Morosi hears it’s a two-year contract “between $14 million and $15 million.”

Fiers, 33, first arrived in Oakland last August during a multi-player trade from the Tigers. The veteran righty finished out his eighth major-league campaign with a cumulative 12-8 record in 31 starts and a 3.56 ERA, 1.9 BB/9, 7.3 SO/9 and 1.4 fWAR through 172 innings for the two clubs, then was non-tendered by the Athletics in November. Those results present a marked improvement over his two-year tenure with the Astros in 2016-2017, however, and something the A’s will be able to sink their teeth into as they look for more stable contributors to bring them back to the cusp of another division title in 2019.

Right now, the Athletics are poised to enter the 2019 season with some combination of right-handers Daniel Mengden, Aaron Brooks, Paul Blackburn, Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas (and, possibly, left-handed prospect Jesus Luzardo) in their rotation. They placed 20th among all major-league rotations in 2018 with a collective 4.17 ERA and 7.8 fWAR, worse than every division rival save the no. 27 Rangers.

Max Scherzer (hamstring) leaves start vs. Mets after just 1 inning

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WASHINGTON — Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start for the Nationals against the New York Mets after just 27 pitches Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the top of the second by Erick Fedde.

Scherzer was not as sharp as usual at the outset Wednesday, going 2-0 counts against each of New York’s initial two batters, walking one and giving up a single to the other.

The Mets eventually went ahead in the first on Dominic Smith‘s sacrifice fly.

Scherzer entered the game with an 0-1 record and 2.84 ERA this season.