Tonight's American League All-Star starter Max Scherzer knows the best place for MLB players to find out if they're on the move. "It's crazy how that works. You're traded out of the blue, and the only way you find out is by MLB Trade Rumors. All of the media and all of your friends know, but you don't hear it from the people doing it," the Tigers righty told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Scherzer went on to describe himself as a "pretty fanatical fan" of this website, of which he is a near-daily reader. Be sure to check out Nightengale's article, which focuses on Scherzer's experiences with former slugger and current Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire. As Scherzer and other players prepare for tonight's All-Star game at Citi Field, here are your related links...
- We learned yesterday that nothing is cooking regarding a contract extension for Scherzer, who is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season. Talking to Nightengale, Scherzer said, "It's funny, everybody wants to speculate on teams, and X amount of dollars, but if I go out there and pitch well, everything will take care of itself."
- How about National League starter Matt Harvey, who fronts the Mets' rotation and is also represented by Scott Boras? Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to Boras, who said, "Usually the team will come to you, it is not up to the player to start negotiations. I would also say this, where the team wants to go in these situations and what the true value of the player is are not often that close." That's not terribly encouraging, but Mets fans can rest easy knowing Harvey will not be arbitration eligible until after the 2015 season, and will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2018 campaign.
- Though he didn't make the American League squad, Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes took home the Home Run Derby belt last night, besting Bryce Harper. To learn about the journey Cespedes and his family took in defecting from Cuba, check out this article from Susan Slusser and Demian Bulwa of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Another good read is the harrowing story of Marlins All-Star Jose Fernandez, who also defected from Cuba. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince has it here, and Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald has another good look at Fernandez here. Fernandez has not yet reached the riches Cespedes has, as he was subject to the 2011 amateur draft.
- With 37 home runs at the All-Star break, the Orioles' Chris Davis is another of the All-Star Game's big stories. Davis treats Roger Maris' 61 home runs in 1961 as the record, discounting the six times it was bested from 1998-2001 by Barry Bonds, McGwire, and Sammy Sosa. Yahoo's Jeff Passan surveyed 15 All-Stars and found that most treat Bonds' 73 as the record despite his PED ties. The Reds' Joey Votto was most critical of Davis' stance, telling Passan, "If Chris feels like 61 is the home run record, maybe he’s just selfishly pegging that number as the home run record so if he passes it he can wear a crown or something like that. There would be a lot of money in that."
- The Nationals were highly interested in Davis when the Rangers made him available in 2011, writes James Wagner of the Washington Post. Instead, Davis joined the Orioles along with Tommy Hunter in a July 2011 deal for reliever Koji Uehara and $2MM.
- More than half of the 78 All-Stars were acquired by their current team through the draft, an international signing, or a trade while still in the minors, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal in his analysis.