Am I feeling a little frisky this morning because the Mariners just took three of four from the Athletics, cutting Oakland’s Wild Card lead to 1.5 games? Possibly. I also look at the farm system for the Washington Nationals and see one of the worst in baseball. If Dipoto is interested, could he help re-stock their system in exchange for Max Scherzer?
Max Scherzer is going to be 37 next season, and more importantly, an unrestricted free agent. Seattle has two things in abundance right now. Youth and Money. Whether or not they know how to effectively use and manage either of them is a completely different story.
If the price is right, Max Scherzer could be a great short-term answer for the Mariners.
I can’t stress this part of it enough. Max Scherzer is going to be a free agent. Yes, he is a multi-time Cy Young award winner, and one of the greatest pitchers of his generation. But, as an older player on a team that might not be that close to contending, he is unlikely to re-sign with Washington.
This means that he can definitely be had for the right price, as Washington is going to want to get some sort of value for him. As of July 26th, they are 45-53, eight games out of the NL East race, and 11 games back in the wildcard. With Strasburg injured, it’s a very small chance that they could make a legit run at the playoffs.
The Mariners could go for a lower-tier pitcher, one that might be cheaper. Why not go big for once?
Enter the Mariners. Could we acquire someone like Scherzer, without giving up too much of our higher-end valued prospects, and then convince him to sign a deal with Seattle? If Dipoto could convince Scherzer that the Mariners are truly an up-and-coming team, one that could honestly compete for a title sometime by 2025, he actually could sign here. I say 2025 because that will be Scherzer’s age-40 season. Yeah, 40 is baseball old… but not as baseball old as it used to be.
Here are some trades that I think the Mariners could offer the Nationals in a potential deal for Max Scherzer.
It’s hard to think of trades here. Nationals fans probably think they deserve Kirby in a trade for Scherzer, while Mariners fans would be loath to give up, well, anything of value for what could easily be a two-month rental.
For Trammell and Macko, you get a young outfielder that could easily be an influential part of your team. Yes, he struggled this year. Yes, he’s been traded a few times. He’s 23, and the only reason I would trade him is he is our 5th/6th outfielder behind Haniger, Lewis, Kelenic, Fraley, and Julio.
With Williamson and Fletcher, you get two players that you could put into the starting rotation next year most likely. The Nationals, especially with Strasburg’s injury history, could be looking for young replacements that they could plan around going forward. Trade two accomplishes that.
Lastly, we mix pitching and fielding, giving up the Mariners 9th and 11th ranked prospects, alongside Marlowe. If the Nationals want a player that could play in the bigs sooner, you could swap out Phillips for either Then or Campbell, each of which are expected to be ready in 2022.
Max Scherzer might be too big of a name, and in turn, have too high of a price in a potential bidding war. The fact that the Mariners wouldn’t have to worry about his salary affecting any potential tax penalties could further push us towards the top in comparison to any of the higher 2021 salaried teams. If Dipoto is feeling frisky, Scherzer would make for an incredibly interesting target.