The Major League Baseball Trade Deadline is Friday afternoon, but the most accomplished player on the market could be dealt by this evening, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. He's reporting that three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer likely will be traded by Wednesday night simply as he's due to take the mound for the Nationals on Thursday and there's no good reason for Washington to put him out there. SportsLine offers MLB odds on Scherzer's next team.
The 37-year-old Scherzer is a free agent after this season, and Washington is going nowhere -- and just lost star shortstop Trea Turner to COVID; he still could be traded, too -- so it may as well trade the future Hall of Famer. Scherzer is a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the majors, five with his current club), meaning he can veto any trade. Apparently, the Nationals have told the New York Mets that Scherzer will not accept a deal there. Scherzer prefers a trade to one of the National League's West Coast teams: Dodgers, Padres or Giants.
While Scherzer might not be Cy Young-caliber these days, he's still pretty darn good with a 7-4 record, 2.83 ERA, .089 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 18 starts. He was supposed to take the mound this past Saturday in Baltimore but was scratched due to right triceps discomfort. An MRI came back clean and he's scheduled for Thursday, but clearly the Nationals would be silly to risk further injury. Better to deal him tonight.
The Dodgers have major starting pitching needs. Los Angeles is currently without two other former Cy Young winners in Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer. Kershaw is on the injured list with forearm inflammation but should be back next month. Bauer is dealing with some serious legal issues and is on administrative leave. There were reports this week that most Dodgers players don't want him back at all due to allegations of sexual assault.
Bauer hasn't been with the Dodgers since initially being placed on leave July 2 and there's a good chance the 2020 Cy Young winner won't pitch again this year. MLB and the City of Pasadena Police Department are conducting separate investigations into Bauer. L.A. remains the +425 World Series favorite at William Hill Sportsbook.
San Diego doesn't seem to have quite the pitching need as the Dodgers, although both Yu Darvish and Blake Snell have spent time on the IL this year – both back now – and the back end of the rotation with Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet (on IL) is a question mark. The Padres made a big trade over the weekend in landing Pirates All-Star infielder/outfielder Adam Frazier. They might be more focused on the bullpen … or could try for Scherzer simply to keep him from L.A.
San Francisco appears set in the rotation and is eyeing a big bat like Kris Bryant. It's not clear if Scherzer would OK a trade to an AL West Coast team like the Angels or A's or if either of those clubs is even that interested.
Would Scherzer consider Houston and a reunion with former Nationals manager Dusty Baker? That would make the Astros clear-cut AL favorites. They are currently +250 pennant leaders over the White Sox (+300).
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: If traded, which will be Max Scherzer's next team?
- Dodgers +200
- Padres +300
- Giants +500
- Astros +600
- A's +800
- Angels +1000
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