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Michael A. Taylor avoids arbitration with Nationals thanks to one-year, $3.325 million deal

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Robert Murray reports that the Nationals and outfielder Michael A. Taylor have avoided arbitration on Thursday, agreeing on a one-year, $3.325 million contract for the 2020 season. The deal includes $25,000 in performance bonuses, awarded if he reaches 300 plate appearances this season.

Taylor, 28, did not perform well during the regular season, batting .250/.305/.364 in 97 plate appearances. He was demoted to Double-A Harrisburg in late June and returned in September. Taylor, however, filled in for Victor Robles in the postseason and managed seven hits, including a pair of homers, in 23 trips to the plate en route to a championship.

With all three starting outfield jobs spoken for by Robles, Juan Soto, and Adam Eaton, Taylor appears ticketed to be the Nationals’ fourth outfielder to begin the 2020 season.

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.