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Wire Taps: The one Cy Young vote for Max Scherzer; Starting pitching market; Bryce Harper’s expectations...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news then have a nice weekend doing whatever you do when there’s no baseball ... though there is the AFL championship game on Saturday.

Japan v MLB All Stars - Game 5 Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

The MLB All-Stars are wrapping up in Japan. Families are beginning to prepare turkeys. It feels like Bryce Harper should sign soon. And yet, no real rumors about Harper have emerged yet, because life is just a waiting game, it seems.

Anyways, here’s the scoop from South Capitol:

The Nationals need starting pitching. and Mike Rizzo is keeping ‘all of our avenues open.’ (WaPo)
The Nats could go for Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Nathan Eovaldi, or even Zack Greinke. But J.A. Happ, Matt Harvey, and many others are available.

Bryce Harper expectations were always too high for him (Sports Illustrated)
Bryce Harper had obscene expectations placed on him at the age of 16. 42 homers were never good enough; 100 RBI were never good enough. He needed to be legendary, earth-shaking. He was great, amazing — but never quite the generational talent promised. Even so, he's going to get quite a payday and can still transform whatever team he ends up playing for.

Cy Young Voter Who Snubbed Jacob deGrom Is A W-L Guy (Deadspin)
John Maffei was apparently convinced that there's some intangible piece that allows pitchers to pitch differently when their team is winning or losing, so he picked Scherzer for all the wrong reasons.

The one writer who voted Max Scherzer ahead of Jacob deGrom for Cy Young explains his ballot - The Washington Post
“I’m absolutely aware of the analytics,” Maffei said. “I do think that wins and losses are somewhat out of your control, but they’re also somewhat in your control. You need to pitch out of situations. There are times when you absolutely need to get out of a situation, you need a strikeout, or you need a groundball. You end up spiking a curveball and it goes to the backstop and you give up a run. That’s in your control. It’s something you look at."

Scherzer over deGrom for NL Cy Young? Writer explains his vote (San Diego Union Tribune)
The guy who voted for Scherzer is getting death threats from New York, apparently. Maffei explained that he watched the last starts of both Scherzer and DeGrom, and he was more impressed by Scherzer's ability to... win games.

Offseason Outlook: Washington Nationals (MLB Trade Rumors)
"Indeed, a departure is arguably the simpler outcome. Signing Harper would almost certainly require further movement. He and Soto would presumably be penciled in for nearly all of the plate appearances at two of the outfield spots. Robles and Eaton could share time, to be sure, but that’d be a questionable allocation of resources."

Arizona Fall League roundup for November 14 (
"Nationals No. 15 prospect Tres Barrera had two hits for the first time since Oct. 25, while Jake Noll went 1-for-3 while playing both third base and left field. Jordan Mills earned his first win of the AFL season after he struck out two in a scoreless eighth."

Bryce Harper Uses Food To Hint At Possible Free Agent Destinations (TMZ)
Some guy from TMZ followed Bryce Harper to the baggage claim and asked him a bunch of baseball questions (he's "still a National right now," apparently) — none of which he really answered, though he did talk some food.

Bryce Harper and his next contract will likely be historic (Sports Illustrated)
Harper could get a 10-year deal for $350 million — but he could also sign for as little as four years or even one year, if he still breaks a record.

Return to top of NL East is only getting tougher for Nats (MASN)
"The Braves have tons of young talent, they’ve got some money to spend this winter to bolster their pitching staff and they have the confidence that only comes once you’ve won your first division title in a while. The Phillies have a strong pitching staff and have a bunch of money to spend this winter, showing every indication of making record-breaking bids on Harper, Manny Machado or both."

Scherzer, Rendon finish 10th, 11th in MVP voting (MASN)
Anthony Rendon has finished in the top 11 three times. He has never been an all-star. Mark Zuckerman voted for Christian Yelich, Javier Baez, and Freddie Freeman, putting Scherzer 6th.

How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course! (NBC Sports Washington)
Harper mentioned Steak 48 in Chicago — but why not talk D.C. food with crabs and half-smokes!