If the Washington Nationals decide to sell, here are a few ways the Boston Red Sox could make a deal for Max Scherzer.
Entering Monday, the Washington Nationals are 16-20 and in last place in the NL East. But the entire division is only separated by three games, so they are hardly out of the mix. With that being said, it’s worth wondering if they will have to consider selling as the trade deadline inches closer, and ace Max Scherzer would surely draw a ton of interest.
Scherzer is having another fine season, with a 2.10 ERA, a 0.76 WHIP, an 11.9 K/9 and a 1.4 BB/9 over his first eight starts. He is also in the last year of his contract, and even with 10-and-5 rights it’s possible he’ll be open to joining a contender if the Nationals aren’t in the race come late-July.
The Boston Red Sox were tied for a major league-high 25 wins going into Monday, with a 1.5-game lead in the AL East. Starting pitching has not been a problem. But it’s worth wondering how sustainable the early showings from Martin Perez, Nick Pivetta and Garrett Richards are. Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi are not aces in the way someone like Scherzer is. A top-of-the-rotation ace would look pretty good in Boston.
Not coincidentally, given it’s the website of a Boston-based radio station, WEEI.com put the Red Sox atop a list of five possible trade destinations for Scherzer. But the move does make sense, if chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is willing to go all-in.
Here are three trade offers the Red Sox could make for Scherzer if the Nationals sell.
3. Parting with a top prospect?
Red Sox Get
SP Max Scherzer
2B/SS Jeter Downs
3B/2B Hudson Potts
LHP Darwinzon Hernandez
MLB.com ranked the Nationals’ farm system as the worst in baseball entering this year. So a Scherzer deal would allow them to restock things, and the Red Sox might oblige despite not having that great a system themselves.
Jeter Downs came to Boston from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade, and he is a top-50 prospect in baseball. He is likely lined up to be the Red Sox’s second baseman of the future, with Xander Bogaerts holding down shortstop until further notice.
Hudson Potts is the 23rd-ranked prospect in the Red Sox system, with a big-league ETA of 2022. Darwinzon Hernandez may still have some promise at 24 years old, but he’s just an add-on to this deal. The idea of parting with Downs pushes this offer down the rank here, but it’s not out of the question that he’d be the centerpiece of a Godfather offer for Scherzer.