Toronto Blue Jays acquire: Max Scherzer (5.2) (5.2)
Washington Nationals acquire: 1 or 2 of the following players:
RHP Adam Kloffenstein (4.5); SS Rikelvin de Castro (3.6); RHP C.J. Van Eyk (3.3); SS Leonardo Jimenez (2.9); SS Otto Lopez (2.6); RHP Tom Hatch (2.0), SS Kevin Smith (1.0)
One of the more veteran players to be included on the potential trade list, pitcher Max Scherzer on the Washington Nationals has been a dominant force in the MLB since his first all-star appearance and turning point in his career back in 2013. In 377 appearances (386 starts), the right-hander has a 3.21 ERA with 2784 strikeouts and a 1.100 WHIP over 13 seasons. Scherzer has had a fantastic career, winning three Cy-Young awards, appearing in seven all-star games, and winning a World Series championship back in 2019 with the Nationals organization.
The reason Max Scherzer could be traded this season is based on a few factors:
- If the Washington Nationals are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline
- The Nationals don’t believe they can/will re-sign him in the off-season when he becomes a free agent
- Scherzer’s desire to win another World Series if the Nationals are not in playoff contention
To make this trade happen, the Blue Jays would be able to use a few different combinations of players to get the deal done. They would most likely have to deal from their top 30 prospect pool to get Scherzer, but the deal wouldn’t nor shouldn’t require a top ten prospect given Scherzer only has one year left on his deal.
Now, this is where the deal becomes a lot more complicated.
With Scherzer spending the last six seasons with the Nationals, he qualifies for 10-5 rights, meaning he has a say in regards to being traded or not depending on the team in question and/or his desire to be traded. Scherzer has the power to nix trades and could also request things such as a contract extension with the team in question in order to agree to the trade. Essentially, if the right-hander doesn’t want to become a Blue Jay, the discussion ends there.
Now factor in that the Blue Jays also need to provide a trade package that the Nationals will need to accept against a host of other playoff-bound suitors, and the Scherzer deal will be challenging to facilitate. Not unachievable, but definitely a tough one to figure out for all parties involved.
In regards to the prospects/players involved, there are a few different combinations that can be used, but to be honest, it is difficult to narrow down an exact trade that could be offered to the Nationals.
The Blue Jays could chose to send a higher valued prospect like Kloffenstein similar to the Griffin Conine-Jonathan Villar / Kendall Williams and PTBNL-Ross Stripling deals done last season but could also chose to package a few lower-tiered (still above 20 ranked) prospects like Rikelvin de Castro and/or Leonardo Jiminez to try and hang on to players like Kloffenstein or Van Eyk. There are a few different ways to trade for Scherzer in this scenario, but any deal involving Miguel Hiraldo or higher should be a walking away point in my opinion.
While this deal is achievable, there is a lot of moving parts that need to align for the Blue Jays to land Scherzer later this year.
The Nationals will have to want to deal Scherzer and the pitcher will have to want to join the Blue Jays, which really isn’t known at this time if he is willing to be traded whether it be to the Jays or to any other team in the league. As of right now, there haven’t been any contract negotiations between the Nationals and their prize pitcher and Scherzer doesn’t appear ready to retire just yet.
The best bet for the Blue Jays is to be in a great position to win come July (obviously) so that if they do want to try and acquire Scherzer, they will be a team worthy of waiving his rights and can hopefully put together a package that entices the Nationals to let him go. The deal would most likely be for just one year (not a contract extension), meaning the Blue Jays would really be going for it by trading for Scherzer this season.