Max Scherzer will bring Cy Young pedigree and championship pedigree to competing teams at the MLB trade deadline.
Not so long ago, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was considered untouchable and one of baseball’s best arms. At 36, Scherzer is still one of the best in the game, but Washington looks more like a seller than a buyer as the July 30 trade deadline approaches.
Mad Max will generate a lot of interest from contending teams who need rotational help for a playoff push. In 14 starts this season, Scherzer has posted a 2.19 ERA, a WHIP of 0.826 and a 12.2 K / 9 rate on 82.1 innings pitched.
He still looks as sharp as ever, and having a three-time Cy Young award winner on your list in October goes a long way in helping to compete for the World Series. It would be the same way the Astros acquire Justin Verlander in 2017.
Similar to his former teammate Verlander, being sent to a competitor would start a fire under an already blazing Scherzer, and it would take his game to a whole new level.
3. The Cardinals will be one of the teams calling on Max Scherzer
If they’re buyers by the deadline, expect the St. Louis Cardinals (36-37) to consider a potential deal for Scherzer.
3 Max Scherzer trades
St. Louis is 4.5 games behind the Cubs in first place. It’s not a terrible place, but it’s not great either. Hovering around 0.500 should keep the Cardinals optimistic that they might not be too far away from a hot streak, which should improve their chances in what many see as a weak central division in the NL.
The Cardinals have the fourth-worst points differential in the National League (-38), and their offense has been just as poor as their starting team. They might need help in those two departments, but if they choose to take care of their rotation instead, Scherzer should be first on the list.
Injuries did not help as Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty are currently on the injured list. Carlos Martinez has also struggled with a plus-6 ERA on 13 starts this season. As a group, the Cardinals have a 4.27 ERA (13th highest MLB) and a 4.30 FIP (11th highest MLB).
If they get Scherzer, it will be for half the season, and they will owe a pro-rata portion of his $ 34.5 million salary in 2021. Making things a little harder are the other factors in Scherzer’s contract beyond this season. Even though he will be a free agent in 2022, $ 15 million is owed each year from 2022 to 28. Scherzer also has a veto on a trade and owes a bonus of $ 7.5 million in September.
A team like the Cardinals would be unlikely to be willing to spend a large amount of money on top of dealing with leads. It would have to be one or the other for the Nationals.
There is one team, however, who might be willing to take their contract.
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