Report: Nationals May Look to Trade Ace

In what may be shocking to some, the Washington Nationals enter play on Thursday in fourth place in the NL East at 19-30.

It’s been a little bit of everything causing these struggles for the boys down in the Nation’s capital. One night it’s a bad bullpen. Another night it’s the offense. Another night it’s the starting pitching. And then sometimes you see the significance of a key player being on the injured list.

All in all, nothing is going right for the Nationals through their first 49 games this season. It’s gotten so bad, that they are now fielding offers for three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer.

The right-hander turns 35 in July and is in the midst of his worst season by ERA since 2012. He also has two years remaining on his contract after 2019 and then gets paid $15 million in deferred money until the year 2028 –– which means he might be getting paid for seven more seasons despite being on another ball club.

However, it’s really tough to gauge if that contract is entirely immovable. Scherzer, despite the April struggles, has really turned a corner in May.

This month, the St. Louis native is 1-2 with a 2.53 ERA. On top of that, he’s leading the league in strikeouts (96) and FIP (2.32). So he’s still a very capable pitcher, but are the deferrals and likely claim of his entire salary worth it?

The Nationals are reportedly only looking for one key player in return for the man they call “Mad Max.” Which means, from a Red Sox standpoint, the headlining piece would be an Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, or a Jackie Bradley Jr. type of player.

Obviously, Scherzer’s talent exceeds those three, but age isn’t just a number in sports. Especially someone climbing in age who has also pitched just shy of 2,200 innings in his 12-year career.

Teams will definitely be calling Nationals GM Mike Rizzo this summer about the services of Scherzer. With that in mind, what will a likely package be for someone nearing 35 years old, who will be making over $15 million until 2028?

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