Max Scherzer Approves Trade to Join Dodgers

(Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Multiple reports on Thursday evening have revealed that starting pitcher Max Scherzer has approved a deal to be traded to Los Angeles, as both the Dodgers and Nationals put the finishing touches on the details.

Just hours after it seemed like the Padres were in the driver’s seat to acquire Scherzer from Washington, Los Angeles boss Andrew Friedman swooped in and is preparing to pull off an even bigger blockbuster than what was initially anticipated.

According to reports, the Dodgers will receive both Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner from Washington in exchange for a package consisting of blue-chip prospects Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz, among others.

Because Scherzer has accrued 10 and 5 rights — 10 years in the major leagues and five years with the same team — a deal must be approved by him before being finalized.

Not only does the trade have huge implications on the Los Angeles starting rotation, but it also sets the Dodgers up for shortstop in 2022, as Corey Seager is eligible to become a free agent at the end of this year.

In the meantime, with a healthy Seager expected to rejoin the team for the beginning of the Arizona series on Friday, the righty-hitting Turner will temporarily slide to second base, creating a vastly improved middle infield.

With the addition of the Turner, the Dodgers can move Chris Taylor, who has no doubt been the club’s 2021 MVP, back to his super-utility role.

Obviously, the arrival of Turner provides the squad with much more flexibility for rest days — a factor that could be important during the stretch run of the regular season. Primarily, though, the main infield unit will feature Trea at the keystone, Seager at short, Justin Turner at third base and Max Muncy at first.

However, the most essential improvement comes to the club’s starting pitching rotation. As it stands, the team’s starting five consists of Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, David Price and Josiah Gray, but with the addition of Scherzer and a healthy Clayton Kershaw returning in early August, the Dodgers might conceivably have the best rotation in the majors, so long as all the pieces are fully healthy.

Nevertheless, losing Gray and Ruiz is no doubt a huge sacrifice, but at least the Los Angeles scouting directors know what they’re losing, as they have gotten solid looks at both youngsters recently at the big-league level.

According to MLB Pipeline, Ruiz and Gray are ranked as the Dodgers’ Top 1 and 2 prospects, respectively.

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.

Turner is amidst his seventh big league season and is arb-eligible next year, meaning he’ll be under the Dodgers’ control at least until the end of 2022.

This year, Turner is slashing an electric .322/.369/.521 with 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Conceivably, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Florida native could slide into the two-hole with Seager lower in the batting order, so long as Mookie Betts returns to the lineup as anticipated this weekend.

13 thoughts on “Max Scherzer Approves Trade to Join Dodgers

  1. Dennis why didn’t you call this last week. Would have saved a lot of hand wringing and silly discussion. (Except mine of course)

  2. They did not get “a solid look at both youngsters recently at the big-league level” from Ruiz. I like the short term implications of the trade, but we traded our top two prospects for a rental and a guy with one more year of control. We may come to regret this.

    1. Not how Andrew works. Turner will be our shortstop of the future and scherzer will sign for 3 years. If he can sign a journeyman pitcher (bauer) or 3 years and a 100 mil, he won’t hesitate sighning max for 3 years at whatever it takes.

  3. Not how Andrew works. Turner will be our shortstop of the future and scherzer will sign for 3 years. If he can sign a journeyman pitcher (bauer) or 3 years and a 100 mil, he won’t hesitate sighning max for 3 years at whatever it takes.

  4. Well this is fun. I fear this all but assures we can’t bring Seager back this off-season though. Still, you get a chance like that to land 2 hall of fame caliber guys for great prospects but were blocked from the big leagues., you have to take it. This immensely helps our chances of a repeat and the establishment of a dynasty. Well done Andrew, that’s a good day’s work.

  5. If someone with the egos of Arod and Machado can be convinced to move from SS to 3B, surely Seager can as well. All signs point to the NL going to the DH in 2022. Under that scenario we resign Seager to play 3B and JT becomes the DH. Trea Turner to SS and Lux at 2B. Of course CT3 will also be a FA. Will he leave like Kike did seeking a full time role that doesn’t hinge on injuries to other players?
    For this year it’s sad to say but Bellinger and his .160 average should be the guy that goes to the bench until he figures out the adjustment needed in his swing. IMO he needs to get that bat from behind his head. Too much has to happen in that swing to square the ball up consistently. These hitting coaches/gurus should be replaced if they cannot straighten him out.
    Very interested to hear the rest of the story on this trade as far as Scherzer goes. No way, I see him going back to the disaster that is now the Nats. All they have left is Soto and the constantly injured Strasburg. Ruiz and Gray should blossom there, though.
    Kimbrel still available!

    1. Pretty much hit the nail Gary. Arod and machado were also way better shortstop than Seager. Think seager was always going back east. His days as a shortstop are almost over no matter where he plays. Really wonder how much interest there will be for a often injured, below average shortstop. Love to have him back as a 3rd baseman but don’t think it will happen. And if they let taylor leave and keep bellinger I’ll scream. For this year make him the centerfielder and bellinger can relieve him when he’s needed elsewhere.

      1. You can hardly blame Seager for this year’s injury. He proved his value in last year’s post season. Best hitter on the team. Check out Tre Turner’s history. He played in 162 games one year. Other than that hasn’t played more than 120 in a season. I want Seager back. Like you Bellinger is driving me nuts. He doesn’t seem to want to change that terrible batting approach.

  6. My only concern is, please Will Smith do not get injured. Not any C depth above A ball right now with Ruiz gone.

  7. You gotta give to get I always say. Really sorry to part with Ruiz and Gray but considering what we got I’m OK with it. There is one thing that keeps popping into my head though and that is a very protracted strike next year. If we don’t get pretty much a full year from Turner next year, we will have wound up overpaying, and that may very well come to pass. I very much want Trea Turner to be our long term shortstop, so I’m hoping he decides to stay after next year. Although I’m sure Corey has enjoyed his time here, there is no way I see him signing here to be a third baseman. He has repeatedly said he considers himself a shortstop and I’m sure that a number teams will be more than happy to offer him a contract to be just that. I do not see him returning.

    Something else that I find amusing is all of the off handed remarks on Twitter that say this trade will now allow the Dodgers to have CT3 revert to his utility role. As Gary mentioned above, Belli is the one who should sit and Taylor should be playing almost every day. But that isn’t the way Doc tends to operate. He’ll keep on throwing Bellinger out there until he cures himself or breaks down completely. My guess is that they will find a way to have CT3 start at least five times a week by giving various guys a day off in some sort of rotation. I think that Taylor might ultimately consider that a bit of a slight and it may very well make him less likely to return. I’m sure many teams will offer him a nice contract to be their regular at one position or another. He may just decide it’s time to do that, and that would be our loss.

    I think we still need one more good reliever, preferably someone who can close. Depending upon the cost, I would love to see that be Kimbrel but there will be a lot of heavy bidding on him today so I’m not counting on that. Hopefully Andrew can come up with one more good arm to add to the pen today, even if it isn’t Kimbrel.

  8. Catching is so tough. Look at all the previous can’t miss catching prospects including bart who the giants are now dangling on the market apparently. They just never seem to make it. We were so lucky with smith.

  9. Where does C.Taylor fit in the lineup now? T Turner playing second, Seager at SS and Muncy at 1b. J Turner at 3b……Betts in RF, Pollock on LF, Bellinger in CF…….Bench Belli, put Pollock in CF Taylor in LF….

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