The Yankees are in need of starting pitching help -- especially a true ace who can help them navigate their way through October. Enter Max Scherzer?
While Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said the team isn't thinking about dealing Scherzer "right now," he didn't come close to shutting down the possibility of dealing his ace -- and even outlined what it would take for him to consider trading the 34-year-old.
After discussing how well-priced Scherzer is, Rizzo told the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal he "would have to command something that would be franchise-altering to consider moving him."
Rosenthal also pointed out a key part of the equation when it comes to a potential Scherzer trade: After this season, Scherzer (who doesn't currently have a no-trade clause) gains 10-and-5 rights, which allows him to block a trade to any team.
Scherzer, who has a 2.81 ERA (2.28 FIP) and 1.07 WHIP with a league-leading 136 strikeouts in 99.1 innings (15 starts) this season, is earning $30.2 millilon this season and is under contract through 2021. He will earn $28.7 million in 2020 and $27.3 million in 2021, with his deal also containing a lot of deferred money.
If Scherzer is put on the market before the July 31 trade deadline, he will become by far the best available arm of a group that currently includes Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, and Trevor Bauer.
The Nats are 33-38 -- 8.5 games back in the NL East and 6.0 games back of the second Wild Card in the NL. If they get hot soon, any chance of them trading Scherzer will likely evaporate. If they don't get hot, things could get really interesting. And the Yankees are certainly watching.