With less than 48 hours remaining before the 2021 MLB trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly among several teams making a play for starting pitcher Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.
As mentioned by Jayson Stark of The Athletic on Tuesday, there are up to eight different clubs showing interest in Scherzer. However, it is believed that all three NL West contenders — the Giants, Dodgers and Padres — are the frontrunners to acquire the veteran.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reported earlier this week that Scherzer is indeed open to waiving his no-trade rights, but the 37-year-old St. Louis native prefers landing with a West Coast squad that’s able to contend for several years down the road. Additionally, he requests that an extension be in place with his new club before a trade is completed.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicated on Wednesday morning that the Nationals are eager to get the framework of a deal established immediately rather than waiting until the final moments of the deadline. Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweeted before noon the possibility of a trade being completed by Wednesday evening.
Scherzer is in the final year of a seven-year/$210 million contract with Washington. His base salary in 2021 is $27.3 million, and he’ll also be paid an additional $7.1 million as part of his original signing bonus.
So far this year, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound righty is 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA and an impressive 0.886 WHIP alongside 142 punchouts over 18 starts and an even 105 innings.
Aside from the acquisition of outfielder Billy McKinney last week, Los Angeles has been quiet on the trade front. The team has seemingly been linked to Scherzer from the beginning, but aside from Jose Berrios of the Twins, there haven’t been many other rumblings.
While starting pitching has been one of the hot topics surrounding the Dodgers for months, another area the team might address before this summer’s deadline is the bullpen. Having to string together a high number of “bullpen games” since late spring, the Los Angeles relief crew is no doubt overworked.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see which route the team takes as far as roster additions go, so long as they can find any teams interested in dealing. In previous columns, we’ve mentioned how the prospective returns of players like Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Corey Knebel would provide similar upgrades to a deal with another club.
This year’s trade deadline is set for Friday at 4:00 pm Eastern time.