The Washington Nationals don’t want to be sellers at the trade deadline, but with a multitude of injuries and a 7-game deficit in the NL East, they might not have much of a choice.
Washington, the 2019 World Series champions, is rumored to be leaning toward a potential sell heading into the deadline next week.
Atop the sell list: Max Scherzer.
Scherzer, a future Hall of Famer, is in the final year of a seven-year free agency contract with the Nationals. The contract is arguably the best in recent free agency history. Scherzer has won multiple Cy Youngs and a World Series in Washington.
But Mad Max could be finishing his career elsewhere. The Nationals, after years of contention, have a very poorly rated farm system. A trade involving Scherzer could replenish some of that system.
The Nationals are reportedly considering a Scherzer trade. However, Scherzer – armed with 10 and 5 rights – will have to sign off on any trade.
Max Scherzer* is being discussed in potential trades, and while the Nats (famous for ‘19 WS comeback win) are investigating both buy/sell scenarios, they are 7 games back and a Scherzer trade suddenly seems quite possible. He alone would transform thin SP market. *has veto rights
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 24, 2021
Two teams have been mentioned the most for Scherzer, though several teams are likely to have interest:
Houston is perhaps the most interesting landing spot. The Nationals beat the Astros in the 2019 World Series. Houston, though, is managed by former Nationals skipper Dusty Baker. There’s also the injured Justin Verlander, whom Scherzer is not believed to be on great terms with. The two played together in Detroit, though haven’t maintained much of a relationship.
A Max Scherzer trade could make the Houston Astros unstoppable. https://t.co/OyDjnDrZHv
— The Big Lead (@TheBigLead) July 18, 2021
The Dodgers, meanwhile, are currently without ace pitcher Trevor Bauer. It’s unclear if Bauer, who’s facing sexual assault allegations, will be back in Los Angeles this season.
Scherzer would provide a serious boost to a Dodgers rotation that might need one.
The Dodgers could also use some bullpen help. The Nationals could throw in All-Star closer Brad Hand for an even better return.
Scherzer and Hand to the Dodgers for [infinite prospects] https://t.co/3872RVOHMD
— Andrew Flax (@ajflax) July 24, 2021
The MLB trade deadline is set for 4 p.m. E.T. on July 30. It could be an eventful one for the Nationals.