Max Scherzer had his worst outing of the season Wednesday, and even in that he showed a side of himself that will be valued when he becomes a free agent in the fall. Scherzer allowed seven runs in the first three innings, with his pitch count spinning out of control, and yet he still held it together long enough to throw the last pitch of the seventh inning. He will get paid in a big way, and so will Jon Lester, whether it's by the Red Sox this summer or by some other team in the open market, and James Shields, who is doing what he has always done, taking the ball and pitching well.

Here are some other prospective free agents off to strong starts:

1. Victor Martinez, DH, Detroit Tigers: On Wednesday's podcast, Torii Hunter offered a great description of how Martinez focuses, how he controls the tempo of each at-bat. Martinez, 35, is having one of the best seasons of his career, now having fully overcome the knee surgery that cost him the 2012 season and affected him the first half of 2013. So far he's hitting .329, with 12 homers, 16 walks and 11 strikeouts, sporting a .998 OPS. It would make sense for the Tigers to re-sign him, but if that doesn't happen, another team will jump at the chance to do so, given the nature of his at-bats and reputation for being an outstanding teammate.

2. Michael Morse, OF, San Francisco Giants: Because of his injury history, he was able to get only a one-year, $6 million deal this past offseason. But so far this year, he has stayed in the Giants' lineup and produced, with 10 homers already. He's only 32, so he is positioned to receive a multiyear deal.

3. Jed Lowrie, SS, Oakland Athletics: Lowrie has a lot of things going for him. He's relatively young, having just turned 30 years old. He's versatile, having played every infield position in his career. And he's off to a decent start, with a .358 on-base percentage. Lowrie has been dinged up recently and out of the Oakland lineup.

4. David Robertson, RP, New York Yankees: It appears the market for relievers could be lackluster, but Robertson, 29, would be an exception. He has 17 strikeouts and two walks in 12 2/3 innings so far, with just six hits allowed. He's going to get paid in a big way, within the context of the relief market.

5. Andrew Miller, RP, Boston Red Sox: He's another guy who has been around so long that you forget how young he is; he turned 29 Wednesday. The left-hander is showing some of the best stuff of his career -- his average fastball velocity is about 94 mph -- and has 31 strikeouts and six walks in 20 2/3 innings.