Could we have just seen how the St. Louis Cardinals establish themselves as a top team? Don’t rule out a summer trade for Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had quite an up-and-down start to the season. After a 12 run outburst on Monday, they dropped the next two games of the series against the Washington Nationals and only scored two runs. While the loss on Wednesday was especially tough, could we have seen how the Cardinals might make the leap and establish themselves as a top team? I’m talking, of course, about trading for Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
I can hear everyone laughing already, but this may be more likely than you think. Picture Yadi blocking those diving sliders in the dirt and entertain this trade possibility for a brief moment.
First of all, Scherzer has St. Louis roots. He attended Parkway Central High School before going on to play college ball at Mizzou. One would imagine that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to pitch at home.
Is another aging ace really what the Cardinals need though? The short answer is yes. One of the best pitchers of his entire generation, “Mad Max” showed us on Wednesday how dominant he still is. While the Cardinals have just four quality starts on the year, Scherzer went 6 innings and gave up no runs for his third of the year. Don’t worry folks, Max Scherzer still has it.
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The last piece of the puzzle is if the Nationals would even consider trading him away. Although Scherzer is a free agent after this season, he has led the Nats rotation since 2015. One of the most competitive players in the game, he would be more than just a loss on the field– his leadership and experience are invaluable.
For suitors like the Cardinals, there is some hope. The Nationals are not expected to be a playoff team. In a difficult division with the ascending New York Mets and reigning division champion Atlanta Braves, the competitive window for the 2019 World Series team might be over. Already this season the Nationals find themselves at the bottom of the NL East standings, and with Juan Soto and Stephen Strasbourg on the IL, Washington might be forced into selling.
We saw on Wednesday how effective Max Scherzer can be. As the dog days of summer roll around, keep an eye on him and the Nationals. The price would be steep, but if I’m John Mozeliak, the first person I’m inquiring about this season is the homegrown ace with a powerful itch to win.
A lot could happen between now and the trade deadline at the end of July. Internal options might step up and erase the need to add to the Cardinal pitching staff. There is plenty of time for the Nationals to get healthy and figure things out. All that being said, I seriously think a trade for Scherzer is just around the corner.