If you asked the Washington Nationals two years ago, fresh off a World Series title, if there would be a Max Scherzer trade at the trade deadline, you would’ve been told you’re crazier than Scherzer himself. (Which is no small task.)
But here we are, and it seems inevitable that before Friday, the three-time Cy Young Award winner will be donning a different jersey. The Scherzer trade rumors have been flying off the wall recently with the Nationals not making up any ground in the NL East and Scherzer as an impending free agent this winner.
Whoever is the beneficiary of a Scherzer trade is immediately getting a No. 1 ace. He no doubt becomes the Game 1 starter for any playoff team besides like the New York Mets. We put respect on Jacob deGrom here at Franchise Sports.
Scherzer is 7-4 this season with a 2.83 ERA. His home runs per nine innings is at a career high-1.5 and his WHIP is at a career low at 0.886. But he’s still as dominant as ever, sporting a 12.2 strikeouts per nine.
Max Scherzer trade rumors 2021
When it comes to the Scherzer trade rumors, the West Coast is the hot topic. As of yesterday, there are eight teams reportedly in on the All-Star pitcher.
However, Scherzer’s preference is to go out west, which immediately brings the attention to the NL West. There are three teams in that division holding onto a playoff spot and most likely, the two Wild Card spots will belong to them. Acquiring Scherzer would shake that division and change that entire landscape.
However there are those other teams involved in the Scherzer trade rumors. There are some AL East teams that too are interested. And just because Scherzer prefers the West Coast, doesn’t mean it’s automatic he’s heading out there. He does have a no-trade clause, but is open to moving it for the right team.
Let’s look at some of those teams that could acquire Scherzer and what they would have to give up.
The San Francisco Giants currently lead their division. Everyone has waited for them to fall off, but they’ve stuck around thanks to having the second-best team ERA in the league.
So imagine how much scarier they’d be with Scherzer? The Giants’ ace right now is Kevin Gausman. No. 2 is Anthony DeSclafani. Neither bring extensive playoff experience and therefore, the Giants have no idea what they’re going to get in October.
The Giants have a good amount of prospects, but Joey Bart may have to be sacrificed to get Scherzer. Catching is a major need for the Nationals’ future. Bart would immediately be the catcher of the future. He’s batting .310 in Triple-A this season and should be a season or two away from the majors.
The Los Angeles Dodgers for Scherzer checks all the boxes. Money? Ain’t no problem. West Coast? Yupp. Contender? Absolutely. Need for pitching? Most definitely!
With Trevor Bauer out and possibly not returning at all to the Dodgers, there’s a hole in the rotation. Dustin May has been done for the year. Tony Gonsolin has gone from the bullpen to being the No. 4 pitcher. Heck, David Price is getting starts. The Dodgers absolutely need another arm to contend.
When it comes to a Scherzer trade package, the name to look for with the Dodgers is Keibert Ruiz. L.A. is against trading him for a rental, but for Scherzer, they may not have a choice. He’s a switch-hitting catcher who won’t see the major with Will Smith and Austin Barnes in L.A. He’s batting .311 in Triple-A with 16 HRs and 45 RBIs. Given the Nationals lack of a future catcher, he makes the most sense to be a part of a Scherzer trade.
Don’t get me wrong, the San Diego Padres pitching staff has still been quite good. Very good in fact. The fourth-best ERA in the league actually with a 3.51 ERA. But doesn’t it feel like some starters like Chris Paddack and Blake Snell were expected to be better? Paddack has a 5.13 ERA and Snell has a 4.93.
Yu Darvish has been as advertised and Joe Musgrove has been better than expected. But having two consistent pitchers isn’t going to cut it come playoffs. Adding Scherzer to make a 1-2 punch of him and Darvish would be a headache to face in a seven game series.
I don’t think prospects would be headed back the Nationals way. Could it be possible that the Nationals gamble on Paddack to bounce back? He’s only 25 years old and had a great rookie season two years ago. There’s also Ryan Weathers, who is another young arm that may just end up the odd man out in San Diego. Regardless of the main piece, I would think the Padres would try and give Wil Myers or Eric Hosmer away in the deal, whether that’s a Scherzer trade or someone else.