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NL Notes: Scherzer defends Cy Young title

Here’s what’s happening around the National League.

Divisional Round - Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals - Game Five Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Just one day after Giancarlo Stanton took home the NL MVP title, another NL East star took home his third Cy Young award.

That star is Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer. The fireballer was truly magnificent in 2017, going 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA, even while spending a portion of the season with uncomfortable neck spasms. Scherzer also managed to fan 268 batters.

If Scherzer manages to get through 2018 injury-free, I fully expect him to put up league-leading numbers once again.

Here’s what else is happening around the National League:

The Manager of the Year winners were also announced this week. For the National League, Arizona skipper Torey Lovullo took home the award for the remarkable work he did with the Diamondbacks, who won 93 games just a year after winning just 69. The best manager truly won out in the NL, as Lovullo took a team with all sorts of problems and turned it into a well-oiled machine.

Andrew McCutchen has spent his whole career with the Pirates, but his option expires after the 2018 season. Check out the link to see a possible landing destination for McCutchen in a trade scenario. Hint: the Pirates know a thing or two about this club.

The Rockies are looking for help after a much-improved 2017 season that saw them jump 12 wins from 2016. Their primary target is Jonathan Lucroy. The 31-year-old catcher has been on two All-Star teams, and has long been regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the game.

The Mets received an encouraging update on perhaps their brightest young star. Outfielder Michael Conforto is progressing faster than expected from his shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the tail end of the 2017 season. Conforto has received clearance to swing a bat by late January, which puts him in position to participate in all of spring training.