Max Scherzer dazzles in showcase outing; Cubs ship key reliever to South Side

Just more than 24 hours remain before Major League Baseball’s trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m. ET on Friday. With dozens of players – including All-Stars and possibly a future Hall of Famer – expected to be on the move, the market will be constantly shifting.

And keep in mind – the July 30 trade deadline is now the one and only; the traditional Aug. 31 waivers deadline is no more, so teams with an eye toward the playoffs must lock in their October personnel by Friday afternoon.

Keep it locked on this tracker for all the latest updates as reports trickle in. All times ET:

Max Scherzer pitches Thursday against the Phillies.

Max Scherzer pitches Thursday against the Phillies.

Cubs ship reliever Tepera across town

The last time the Cubs and White Sox made a July trade back in 2017, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease eventually grew into South Side mainstays. The Cubs likely won’t equal that haul, but they showed they’re not averse to swapping with their South Side mates by dealing valued reliever Ryan Tepera to the White Sox.

Tepera posted a 0.79 WHIP and struck out 50 in 43 innings for the Cubs, who did not receive a king’s ransom for him as the White Sox did for lefty Jose Quintana back in ’17. Instead, the Cubs will make do with right-hander Bailey Horn, 22, who was the White Sox’s fifth-round pick out of Auburn in 2020.

If this was Max Scherzer’s final start for the Washington Nationals, he made sure his club will maximize its return for him in trade.

In his first outing since July 18 after a triceps issue forced him to miss a start, Scherzer was crisp and efficient against the Philadelphia Phillies, holding them to three hits and just one run over six innings in the first game of a doubleheader.

Scherzer struck out five and walked one, and after recording the final out of the sixth inning, received a series of hugs from manager Dave Martinez and his catcher, Yan Gomes. Moments later, Gomes hit a go-ahead two-run homer for a 3-1 Nationals lead that might allow Scherzer to go out a winner in this seven-inning game. He is in the final season of a seven-year, $210 million deal, during which he won three Cy Young awards and started Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, won by the Nationals.

Scherzer lowered his ERA to 2.76 and threw 88 pitches, induced a pair of ground-ball double plays and surely allayed any concerns suitors may have.

Now, time to get your bids in.

It popped Wednesday night but the ink dried Thursday: Joey Gallo is a Yankee. New York and Texas finalized their deal that sent Gallo and reliever Joely Rodriguez to the Bronx in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Glenn Otto and infielders Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith. Gallo will join the Yankees in Miami on Friday, givnig him a small window to trim his facial hair to Yankee-level standards.

Brad Hand traded to Blue Jays

The Nationals’ sell-off begins at the back of the bullpen instead of the front of the rotation. Washington has shipped closer Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays, in exchange for minor-league catcher Riley Adams. Though he blew consecutive save chances Sunday and Monday, Hand has been reliable for the Nationals, converting 21 of 26 save opportunities, and gives the Jays a firm ninth-inning option.

White Sox get 2B Cesar Hernandez

The White Sox will not be trading for Trevor Story – instead, they raided their nearest pursuer to add reliable second baseman Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland, as ESPN first reported. Hernandez, who’s hit 18 home runs this season, fills a void created by the season-ending hamstring injury suffered by Nick Madrigal.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB trade deadline: Live updates, rumors, deals Thursday

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