Please consider donating to the Bleacher Nation Trade Deadline blogathon, as we continue to raise money for Make-A-Wish while covering every rumor and deal from now until tomorrow’s deadline.
And there it is. The San Diego Padres are trading for Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals.
BREAKING: Padres close to acquiring Max Scherzer, sources tell @TheAthletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2021
Less than an hour ago, rumors began spreading about the Padres increasingly aggressive interest in Twins starter José Berríos, but they’ve decided to go for a bigger short-term splash, getting close to acquiring (it’s not done yet) one of the most dominant starting pitchers of the last decade. The Giants and Dodgers were among the teams also reportedly interested in adding Scherzer, so you can bet they’ll quickly pivot to Berríos, Kyle Gibson, or perhaps even Zach Davies if/when this deal goes done, though none of the above will be able to replicate what a healthy Scherzer is likely to give you over the next two months plus the postseason.
This is also the third major starting pitcher trade the Padres have made this year (Yu Darvish and Blake Snell were acquired in the offseason)*. Clearly, AJ Preller is on a mission to do something big this year and he just added a huge piece of the puzzle.
*Dinelson Lamet, Mike Clevinger, and Adrian Morejon are all out of the picture, and Darvish spent time on the IL this month. Meanwhile, Padres starters have a combined 4.08 ERA (14th in MLB) this season.
Consider that not only should Scherzer help the Padres make up ground in the NL West (they’re 5.5 games out), but he can also start the Wild Card game if they come up short. And, indeed, if he’s on your team, you don’t have to FACE him in the Wild Card game, which was a strong likelihood given Scherzer’s preferences to end up in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
The return is not yet known, but I’ll update this post as soon as we learn more. The other NL West teams will absolutely want to respond by tomorrow’s deadline and everyone from Craig Kimbrel to Zach Davies to Kris Bryant could be a part of those plans.