The Washington Nationals are slowly falling out of the race for an MLB playoff spot in 2021.
The 2019 World Series champs are currently 45-54, 8.5 games behind the division leaders, the New York Mets.
The Wild Card, also an option for teams to shoot for, is also a distant dream: the Nats are 11.5 games behind the second and last spot.
They are contemplating being sellers at the trade deadline, and if that’s the case, they should entertain the possibility of dealing multiple Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer.
Scherzer is the heart and soul of the franchise, but his contract is up after the end of the season and it makes sense to see if there is a deal out there that can satisfy the Nats’ needs.
Of course, he can also sign an extension to stay in Washington, but so far, a trade is a strong possibility.
These three contenders can definitely use him.
3. New York Mets
Due to the good news on Jacob deGrom’s injury (he could be back in early August) and Carlos Carrasco (he looked good in his last rehab start); plus the emergence of Tylor Megill as a legitimate rotation piece, the Mets don’t absolutely need to have Scherzer.
They would, however, be vastly improved with him on the roster.
That would be, without a doubt, the best unit in baseball.
Can the Mets make it happen?
They sure can: they have the willingness to go over the luxury tax, the prospects, and the controllable assets to offer Washington.
The better question would be: Do they want to make the investment?
Only time will tell.
2. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays may be far down the standings in the American League East, where they are fourth with a 49-47 record.
But they still have a very good chance to make the postseason as a Wild Card team, as they are only 4.5 games out of the second and last spot.
The Washington righty has a 2.83 ERA in 105 innings, and would immediately slot in as the ace of the staff.
His potential arrival to the Blue Jays could be extremely impactful, making a playoff hopeful into a legitimate World Series contender.
Follow up on the Scherzer trade talks. Add the Red Sox and Blue Jays to the Rays, Padres, Dodgers and Giants who are looking at him. The consensus I've heard is that he'll end up in the NL West if he gets moved, as @Feinsand and others have said https://t.co/bXasyoKdwL
— Dan Federico (@DanJFederico) July 27, 2021
1. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels’ pitching is among the worst in the league.
With Mike Trout soon to return, and the team still barely in contention, Los Angeles could make a statement and bring Scherzer to try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Trout and Scherzer as deadline acquisitions (the former is in the final stages of his rehab from a calf strain) would be huge.
Max Scherzer would be one add that would solidify Angels rotation this year and if resigned for 2-3 years, the next couple seasons.
Scherzer, Ohtani, Sandoval, Detmers, & Suarez, C-Rod, Bachman, Canning, or Barria ain’t too bad.
— Halo Life ⚾ (@_HaloLife) July 26, 2021
Right now, the Angels are 50-49, clinging to .500, but if they manage to land Scherzer, the race for the AL Wild Card spots would have a whole new meaning.