The Chicago Cubs are among the suitors for Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer, assuming he’s healthy enough to be an asset come the trade deadline.
Scherzer suffered an injury scare on Friday night against the San Francisco Giants, but remains confident he’ll make his next start. Even should he miss some time, Scherzer has plenty of time to recover before the trade deadline, which is potentially when he could be dealt to a contender.
While the Nationals were initially viewed as a dark horse candidate in the NL East, that hasn’t exactly played out as planned. Washington’s been marred by injuries, and would perhaps be smart to send off assets at the deadline to refurbish their farm system.
Scherzer is a free agent at the end of this season. The Cubs, meanwhile, were expected to be sellers at this point in the year, but have instead outperformed expectations. A one-year decision to “go for it” with Scherzer might make some sense.
MLB rumors: How the Cubs could trade for Max Scherzer
The Cubs would have to give up fairly significant prospect capital to acquire Scherzer, which is undoubtedly not in the best interest of management.
Still, for a team that now only has one World Series in the past century, making a move to win-now isn’t the worst thing in the world.
The Nationals top prospects are littered with pitching, so they’d be targeting position players. Here’s what a trade could look like.
SP, Max Scherzer
C, Miguel Amaya
OF, Cole Roederer
Miguel Amaya is the real jewel of this prospect package for the Nationals. He’s considered the catcher of the future in Chicago. Trading him would assume the Cubs decide to re-sign Willson Contreras long-term, which is a big if at the moment.
Amaya is ranked as the No. 75 prospect nationally by MLB Pipeline. Roederer is another top-15 prospect in the Cubs system, albeit with slightly less pedigree. Adding in one more top-30 prospect could swing this one in Chicago’s favor, if necessary.
Acquiring a pitcher of Scherzer’s caliber isn’t cheap. Trading for him now, a full month before the deadline, would require an even greater offer than anticipated.
Sometimes it’s better to wait.