Earlier today, it looked like Max Scherzer was on his way to the Padres. Not so fast.
I wrote about Scherzer as a possibility for the Dodgers earlier this month.
Let me preface this by saying it’s highly unlikely the Nats deal Scherzer — especially since they’re reportedly interested in Kris Bryant. But being six games under .500, six games back of the Mets in the NL East and a -31 run differential (thanks to a 24-8 drubbing by the Padres Friday night), the Nats should probably be in sell mode, as their farm system is among the worst in the sport — Cade Cavalli and Jackson Rutledge notwithstanding. Scherzer, 37 in 11 days, is still pitching at an extremely high level. He owns a 2.66 ERA, 3.31 FIP and a 29.7 K-BB%. In fact, his 35.5 K% would be a career-best if the season ended today. His velocity hasn’t wavered and his fastball, slider and changeup are still above-average-to-plus-pitches. He’s as good as he’s ever been, which is remarkable for a guy in his 14th MLB season.”
Scherzer went out today and threw six innings of 1-run ball against the Phillies. While his command wasn’t great, he was making his first start since July 18 because of a sore triceps. He showed he was healthy (hit 97 MPH on the radar gun in his final inning) and convinced Andrew Friedman to pull the trigger on a deal. He has 10-5 rights, but it has been reported he’s willing to waive his no-trade rights to go to LA. I suspect there will be some form of compensation for him doing that.
The Dodgers not only might be getting Scherzer, though, as they might also be getting Trea Turner.
Turner, 28, was originally drafted by the Padres and sent to Washington in the Wil Myers deal. He has been one of the best shortstops in the league since he debuted in 2015. This season, he’s hitting .322/.369/.521 with a 137 wRC+, 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases. He’s a premium athlete and has game-changing speed. He’s currently on the COVID-19 injured list, as he tested positive on Wednesday.
He’s also a good defensive shortstop, but he’ll likely play mostly second base once Corey Seager returns from the IL. Looking forward, he could (and probably will) be the Dodgers’ starting shortstop in 2022 — his final year before free agency. He could also see time in center field, as Cody Bellinger has continued to struggle.
As for the players going to Washington, not much is known yet. However, it appears Keibert Ruiz will headline the blockbuster deal. He was scratched from Oklahoma City’s lineup. The 22-year-old switch-hitting catcher is enjoying a breakout season in the minors. He’s hitting .311/.381/.631 with 16 home runs, a 10 BB% and 11.7 K% for OKC. Those are incredible numbers. This is the first time he’s showing not only power but also improved plate discipline without his strikeouts becoming alarming.
The main thing I’m concerned about is his performance from the right side. He’s hitting .312/.388/.707 from the left side and just .286/.333/.411 from the right side. He’s a modern day Yasmani Grandal in that regard. The power may never truly come from the right side, but the power from the left is looking stronger and stronger.
You have to figure guys like Gavin Lux, Ryan Pepiot and others have a chance to be involved in this deal. Maybe even Josiah Gray.
Chad will have a full recap if/when it goes down.