The Yankees can use a veteran starter to replace Corey Kluber, and Max Scherzer is the man for the job. The Nats are going nowhere – grab him.
Yankees fans may cringe when they see a plea to trade for a high-salaried 36-year-old pitcher, but Max Scherzer is still pitching like he’s 26.
In his 12 starts this season, Scherzer is 5-4 with a glossy 2.22 ERA. Moreover, his command has been excellent, with only fifteen walks and 104 strikeouts.
Scherzer is in his walk-year, I get that, and it’s something for the Yankees to consider. But if the team is truly going to go for it this year, he’s the guy who not only can replace Corey Kluber, but he can give the Yankees an envied one-two punch in the playoffs with Gerrit Cole.
Scherzer’s $35.5 million salaries this year is another hitch the Yankees would need to overcome, but by the time a deal is cut, the Yankees will be liable for only half. If Cashman uses his powers, he might be able to get the Nationals to kick in some of that too – if the return for them is desirous.
As for the Nationals, they have nothing to lose. Although few can explain it, they are stuck at the bottom of the National League East, and they continue not to show even the slightest hint of life.
Given that, plus the fact that Scherzer knows his time is limited, he’d likely jump at the chance to come to the Yankees, and perhaps with some cajoling by Cashman even consider deferring a portion of his salary out with a two-year deal – signed now or before he becomes a free agent.
Yankees Bonus: Cole And Scherzer – The Teachers
Cole and Scherzer are both pitchers born of the same breed. They are tinkerers and thinkers, always seeking to refine their pitches and mechanics.
Even better, they are both chatty when it comes to talking about pitching at this level, allowing the rest of the Yankees’ staff to be a fly on the wall in a casual classroom setting every day.
I have no idea what the Nationals would want in return for Scherzer (that’s Cashman’s job). I suspect it will be prospects but not necessarily high-level ones.
A Trade The Yankees Have To Make
I will say this, though. It doesn’t matter what they want because this is the kind of deal the Yankees have to make if they have any chance of overcoming the Red Sox and Rays to win the division, much less to take it all the way to Number 28.
The recent contributions coming from Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton, and even Gary Sanchez, plus the continued excellence of Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela give the Yankees hope and proof their offense is coming around.
While the Yankees still manage to lose games, they should win – witness last night’s rare meltdown by Aroldis Chapman; all they need is a spark to light the flame.
Max Scherzer is the right man at the right time going to the right place who can do that for this Yankees team.
Postscript: Saturday 2:15pm ET
Scherzer left his start yesterday in the first inning with a groin injury.
Today, ESPN Quotes Scherzer as saying,
“It could subside fairly quickly,” Scherzer said. “Going into the clubhouse, I was frustrated as all to get out. Turns out a little grab was all it was.
“The good news is that it is not a muscle strain. I am really day-to-day. I am very confident this will be very mild.”
If he’s right, it’s still game on.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Al Pratt Don’t trade Peraza, Florial, or Dominguez. This guy is a rental. He probably will go back to Washington. Author’s Note: Not sure about that last part.
Jay Irwin Rosen It will be a king’s ransom
Mario Adorno Agreed!
Andrew Pal Would love to see Scherzer in pinstripes, but I’m not sure just how much that changes this team’s fortunes this year. They play with almost no urgency, and their offense and defense both are dreadful. Scherzer would be a nice addition, but if that’s all they do it won’t improve their chances of making the playoffs let alone advancing in them.
Andrew Lorton Would be great but I seriously doubt they would trade him and if so they definitely would want a lot for him.
Emil E. Hernandez Yeah Right… For What??? Half of The Yankees Prospects in The Minors??? A Gun For Hire That’s too Expensive and For What Time??? 2 Maybe 3 Months Then He Becomes a Free Agent… Not Worth It… He Guarantees Nothing…
Dave Rosenthal I think the Cardinals are going to get him, he’s from St Louis. Author’s Note: Good point, I didn’t know that.
Donald Brzezniak Sevy will replace Kluber. He’s 3 weeks away and throwing 98 currently.
Billy Touw I don’t think the Yankees will make a major trade ownership wants to stay below the cap and Cash only has about 4 mil left
Erik Bjornstad I don’t see why the Nationals would want to do a deal that made sense for both teams, given that this concept is in the eye of the beholder anyway. I think it’s more likely Scherzer resigns with the Nats. He seems to like it there and it’s not like the Nats don’t have a decent future.
Brandon Dury I agree. Bring him in. Might be 37 years old but he pitches great for his age. Future Hall of Famer. Bring him. He’s a former world series champion. He knows what it takes to win.
Regretfully, I’m closing off published comments for this post. Keep ‘em coming though – after all – that’s what this is all about.