Four Teams Max Scherzer Should Accept a Trade Toby Ben Fadden July 28, 2021 0 comments
The Washington Nationals are 8.5 games back in the National League East and their ace, Max Scherzer, is a free agent at the end of the season. Therefore, Washington would be wise to trade the 2019 World Series champion in order to get prospects back and improve their league-worst farm system.
The Nats would land a sizable return because Scherzer is arguably the most coveted starter on the market if he is available. Entering Tuesday, Scherzer is worth 2.1 WAR with a 2.83 ERA over 18 starts.
Scherzer Dictates Where He Goes
Scherzer has 10-and-5 rights, meaning he’s been in the Majors for 10 years and has been with the same team for five straight seasons. That gives him the luxury to accept or decline any trade presented to him. There are plenty of teams like the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, and New York Mets who need pitching before the deadline, but Scherzer likely wouldn’t accept a trade to them.
The Mariners weren’t expected to be a playoff team this year and he wouldn’t stay there long-term anyways. Oakland simply has shown an inability to get over the hump the last decade. Tampa Bay is a small market team and is destined for a one-game playoff. There’s no way Scherzer would go to the Astros after they cheated their way to a title in 2017. And while the Mets would be one of the World Series favorites if they were to acquire Scherzer, he is going into Cooperstown as a National and wouldn’t want to upset Nationals fans by going to their rival.
Before Brewers fans come at me, they already have plenty of starting pitching for October with Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta. Thus, Scherzer isn’t the best fit for them, either. (The same goes for the White Sox). Milwaukee is a team that should look to upgrade the first base position and the bullpen instead.
However, there are four teams that Scherzer would be wise to accept a trade to if the Nationals were able to get a deal done.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have surprised a lot of people this season as arguably the best team in the American League. They have a sizable lead on everyone but the Rays in the AL East and have a rotation that could include Chris Sale by season’s end, which would improve their World Series chances. Add Scherzer into the fray and they would easily be the AL favorite.
Scherzer would go to Boston partly because the Red Sox have a similar team to the 2019 Nationals. They have plenty of offensive firepower in their lineup (led by Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Alex Verdugo, and J.D. Martinez) with a talented rotation (Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Martin Perez). Scherzer also knows the road to the AL pennant is going to be easier than the road to the NL pennant, so this might be his best chance to get to another World Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported this week that Scherzer “strongly prefers the West Coast” for a trade destination, so these next three teams fit that bill. Scherzer wants to win and Los Angeles has a track record of winning. After all, they’re the defending champions and have won nine consecutive NL West titles. The Dodgers are also likely without Dustin May (Tommy John surgery) and Trevor Bauer (administrative leave) for the rest of the season and thus need rotation help going down the stretch.
Dave Roberts would have plenty of confidence in Scherzer starting playoff games than someone like Tony Gonsolin. Considering he wants to win, being traded to the defending champions isn’t a bad option for Scherzer.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants currently lead the NL West and you could argue they need more starting pitching help than the Dodgers do. Kevin Gausman has proved he can pitch like an ace but they don’t have another Gausman-type starter in the rotation behind him. Anthony DeSclafani and 35-year-old Johnny Cueto have pitched well this year, but it still wouldn’t hurt to add a three-time Cy Young winner into the mix.
Scherzer, 37, would likely welcome the possibility of being the final piece to a World Series-caliber team in the Bay Area.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are already close to the luxury tax threshold but may be willing to exceed the $210 million limit if it makes sense. Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove have mostly been everything A.J. Preller wanted them to be when he acquired them last offseason. However, Blake Snell hasn’t consistently given the Padres enough innings and the back end of the rotation is facing injury questions. The Padres weren’t confident enough in Chris Paddack last year to even start him in the NLDS against the Dodgers so what makes us think they’ll change their viewpoint this postseason?
Scherzer saw up close how talented the Padres’ offense is when he lost an eight-run lead at Petco Park prior to the All-Star break. A postseason rotation of Darvish, Musgrove, and Scherzer would be hard to resist for Mad Max.
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