Dodgers Reportedly Among Teams Still Involved in Max Scherzer Negotiations

(Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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 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.

Some fans of the Dodgers believe the recent slips by Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen — perhaps two of the team’s most critical relievers — could be a result of frequent overuse.

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.

30 thoughts on “Dodgers Reportedly Among Teams Still Involved in Max Scherzer Negotiations

  1. The bottom line is no sane person believes Friedman can trade enough to fix a team that has catastrophic injuries and a very bad Bauer signing.
    If Mookie does not come back healthy soon, Seager does not recover and Bellinger continues to perform like a AAA Journeyman the Dodgers are not going to win it this year.
    It doesn’t matter if they get Scherzer or the reincarnation of Koufax if the team can’t score or field. This team is terrible defensively. The poor defense and blown saves have caused the Dodgers to have the worst record in 1 run games in the MLB! If they were .500 in one-run games they would be in 1st with the best record in the MLB!

    1. Just for the record TMax, I don’t think we could get a reincarnation of Koufax while he’s still alive. 🙂

      1. Oops! And I am very pleased the Incredible Gentlemen Sandy Koufax is still alive, The man is a treasure. So we reincarnate Drysdale instead…In Bouton’s book Ball Four which every baseball fan should read. Bouton in talking about Drysdale said attempting to hit Drysdale was like trying to catch bees with a butterfly net…

      2. Drysdale it is then, and yes Sandy is a treasure both baseball wise and human being wise.

  2. This is only my take, and I expect disagreement. I don’t want my team to mortgage the future by trading talented minors players for a chance to make the playoffs. Having an interesting season and being in contention every year is more enjoyable for me as a fan that going all in to make the playoffs or WS one year, then going through a team teardown because the pipeline is empty. From what I see below AAA the Dodgers have a good flow of players coming up.

    1. I may be the only person here who agrees with you Glenn. But I’m not against trading a few prospects. I just don’t want to tear down the entire system. I’ll leave it to AF as to which ones absolutely can’t be touched.

      1. I think about as high as Friedman would go in “mortgaging the future” is Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t made any overly horrible moves yet. At the same time, I understand your sentiments about not necessarily needing to be at the absolute top every year. I’m fine with it. The only sour taste in my mouth, as a fan, would be seeing the Padres or the Giants go farther than the Dodgers.

      2. Rumors are just that but hearing Cartaya might be in play and clubs asking for Graterol. Cartaya is tradable because of Ruiz and Galiz’s signing last year. Watching Graterol pitch the Dodgers have coached him up and he nows has some secondary pitches so I would not trade him as I look at him as the closer for the future.
        If the Dodgers plan to re-sign Seager I would put Lux in play depending on if he has any value. Barnes is tradeable and as such a heady catcher with good framing skill, he does have value.
        I do agree about OK with not winning the Championship but also saying I am OK with anyone but the Giants or the Padres! Teams are reportedly asking about Miller and he looks like another Buehler so I would not trade him.

  3. Medical report per Joe and Orel. Mookie is on tract to be activated on Sunday. He was on the field today and told Roberts he feels better than he has in a while. They are targeting August 7th for the return of Kershaw. The Angels will be the opponent. And Seager is on track to be activated during the Arizona series. After 4 bad at bats tonight, well 3. I thought it was a good at bat when he hit a ball to left that went to the warning track, in the 8th, Bellinger connected and hit one over the wall in right for his 5th HR. Pollock and Muncy had 3 hits apiece and Smith hit a 2 run triple. Buehler was lights out winning his 11th. I seriously think he should be in the Cy Young conversation. I think AF will only trade those players he feels have little chance of cracking into the lineup in LA down the road. I personally think he almost made a massive blunder last year in the aborted Pederson trade when he included Andy Pages. And what he was getting back was a bag of used balls. Pages is raking in the minors. A real solid prospect. T, chances of them signing Seager are slim. His agent is Boras, and you know he is going to make Corey test the market. He will no doubt get a QO from the Dodgers so if he is signed somewhere else, they get a compensation pick. They will probably give one to Kershaw too.

    1. Bear as you know my friend we mostly agree and when we don’t you have been right a larger percentage of the time…
      I am very glad they didn’t give away Pages as the Dodger Farm system has a dearth of quality Outfielders as we have seen the generation of Peters, Raley, Reks are all journeyman AAA players at their best.
      Pollock is having a very quiet good season. He also plays a solid CF which we have needed. Bellinger did have two good at-bats in a row culminating in the HR in the 8th. But how is he against a quality starter with RISP? So far he has been an easy out. He has to reset his thought process to stop wanting to pull everything or he will be an easy out.
      As for Seager, I thought at the start of the year he would not re-sign with the Dodgers. As he has been injured again! and missed a large part of the year adds up to his market value has probably dropped. The Dodgers may be more motivated as Lux is not hitting well and is helpless against left-handers. If the Dodgers do not pick up a large contract this trade season and lose Bauer’s deal they will have more money. I believe there will be a bitter strike canceling a part of 2022. Hope I am wrong but the Players and Owners do not trust, respect, or like each other. The Players will never agree to another Competetive Balance deal without the smaller markets having rules that they must spend the money from the deal rather than pocket it. I doubt they will allow compensation draft picks taken away in the new agreement as that has lowered the number of teams bidding for free agents and I do not blame them. Last night it was the same regulars that generated the critical runs at the start of the game.

      1. Sheesh T, how many games has he missed? The guy compared to everyone else has not played very much, and what is the most important thing for a hitter??? Timing. You ever hear the song Give Peace a Chance, give Belli 50 more at bats, and then tell me what you see. Padres close to trading for Scherzer per MLBTR.

      2. Sorry Bear but looking at Bellinger’s body of work he had 3/4’s of one exceptional amazing year. It’s been mostly all downhill or barely average since then. Don’t get me wrong I root for Bellinger to find his stroke the Dodgers need his offense. But I am beginning to think he is a head-case and will never match his potential. Hope I am wrong and you are right.
        If the Dodgers can get Betts back to playing close to his average, Seager back and playing well along with Kershaw the Dodgers should win the pennant even with all the injuries. If and to me it’s a huge IF Bellinger finds his stroke the Dodgers will run away with it.

    2. Bellinger has 161 at-bats this year. How many more before he has enough to be ready? By the way so far in the game today he is 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts and a flyout. So typical Bellinger outing this year. Price allowed 4 runs 3 earned in 4.1 innings and this Dodger team cannot overcome 4 runs in the mid to late innings so I think they are done…Sigh…And another unearned run as the defense is terrible…

      1. Yep, he has, but A; He is coming back from shoulder surgery. Remember Kemp? In 2013 he was coming back from shoulder surgery. His swing was not what it was before, he had ankle and hammy issues during the season, and he had a terrible year. But in 2014 he turned it around. He was not the Kemp of 2011. But he was a lot better than he was in 2013. Who are we to say how healthy Bellinger is? We do not know if the shoulder is ok, but he has altered his swing. I have a lot more patience than most with a player of his skills. I have seen a lot of players have really bad 50 game stretches and then get hot. I think Roberts needs to keep him down in the order. Simply because he is a weapon on defense and that is why he is in there everyday. Superior defensive skills. Bat him 7th every game and leave him there. He should not have been in the 4 hole.

  4. Problem is ,every team is afraid of trading away a Tatis. But in the last 20 years few teams have ever drafted a Tatis to trade him away. But half the teams keep tanking trying to build a farm system, but that’s not really how it works. Nobody ever built a team through the draft ( except Houston, kind of). You build a team with free agents and trades and maybe a few drafts if you are lucky. Most teams have 3/4 drafted players on their roster. The joke is that half the teams tank year after year and the few good/skilled players they acquire they trade after 3/4 years cause they can’t afford them. It’s like they can’t get out of the hole so they start digging again. Lots of ways to build a good team but refusing to trade prospects is silly given the right situation and the right players.
    Ok. Fire away

    1. That is a solid move. Duffy will probably be a rental but he is a good pitcher when not on the IL. My feeling is they do not absolutely need pitching. It’s the offense that is horrible right now. Sure the Dodgers allowed 5 runs today in a loss but they were shut out! The Dodgers lately continue to have problems putting runs on the board. Yes against a mediocre pitcher they explode for 20 plus but most of the year they have not been able to generate a run when needed.
      You lose so many 1 run games due to bullpen issues but also on this team they have big innings and then nothing. They cannot generate a run. Roberts has not reacted to Mookie being hurt and has continued to start him and play Bellinger in the middle of the line-up.
      Also if Bellinger’s shoulder is so bad as to alter his swing they should get him out of there before he hurts himself or gets in bad habits. If .160 is his max they should bring up Peters he might hit a bit better and plays excellent centerfield.
      I have talked about my daughter who is a PT for professional athletes. She says shoulders are a tough rehab. Everyone’s shoulder is different. If his shoulder is bothering him so that he cannot swing they should not play him, Daughter says that a baseball swing is so violent they should not put him out there if he is not 100% healed. She was a College soccer player who has worked with Olympic Soccer, Basketball, Softball, and Gymnastic athletes.

      1. Hold on to your hat, MLBTR is reporting that the Dodgers are very close to finalizing a deal with the Nats for Scherzer and Trea Turner. Sent to DC would be 4 prospects, Ruiz, Gray, Donovan Casey and Gerrardo Castillo.

      2. As Gray and Carrillo are blocked it’s a good deal. Ruiz for Turner is a very good deal. Casey is at Tulsa and hitting well. But a ways from being at the MLB level although he is 25.
        I wonder if Scherzer demanded an extension as was reported last week?

      1. That’s what they’re saying. Andrew felt badly for all of us after the crappy game they played today and this is his way of cheering us up.

        If it happens, Ruiz will definitely be part of it. I’m guessing Lux will be also. And a good pitcher, ala Pepiot or Miller or Gonsolin. Just wild guesses on my part, except Twitter is saying Ruiz is part of it.

        Keep in mind Gordon, a few hours ago, Scherzer was supposedly going to San Diego, so don’t celebrate yet.

  5. For those who haven’t been on Twitter lately, Jeff Passan is reporting that we are making progress on a deal for both Scherzer and Trea Turner.

    If it happens, it’s going to cost a lot in prospects, but let’s face it, that would really be a huge get.

    1. Sorry dodger fans. Turner is a upgrade on Seager who if he stays is destined for 3rd base. I suspect Andrew knew seager wasn’t going to return, so this is a good move. Also frees up taylor. And scherzer is an upgrade on anyone .
      Prospects are. Oh I already said this. Hate rentals but I doubt this will be rentals and prospects are. Oh I already said that. I think this is great depending on …..

    1. Glad to see that they’ve assigned Duffy a number. Extremely important considering he’ll be lucky to actually play in a Dodger game for at least 3 to 4 weeks or maybe longer.

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