The Washington Nationals will eventually have to make a decision on Max Scherzer as trade interest from the St. Louis Cardinals appears to grow.
The idea of the Nationals trading Max Scherzer is only going to keep growing as the 2021 season continues.
As long as Washington continues to flounder at the bottom of the NL East, other teams are going to sniff around in search of pitching help.
How long will they be able to hold out?
According to John Morosi of MLB Network, the Nationals “aren’t ready to listen to offers on Max Scherzer yet.” However, a source told him “their mindset could change in the weeks ahead.”
The Cardinals could force the Nationals’ hand on Max Scherzer
Morosi’s report specifically referenced St. Louis as a hometown draw for Scherzer. The 36-year-old was born in Missouri, attended the University of Missouri and grew up a Cardinals fan.
Sentiment aside, St. Louis could use a pitcher of Scherzer’s clout. They are 31-30 and in third place in the NL Central. They’ll need to make some moves if they hope to compete for the NL Wild Card at this stage. They’ve lost Jack Flaherty to an oblique strain while Kwang Hyun Kim is dealing with back tightness. The rest of the rotation is inconsistent and messy.
Scherzer is still pitching at a high level despite his age. He’s 5-4 this season with an ERA of 2.22. That’s fifth in the majors. He would instantly upgrade St. Louis’ rotation.
Considering Scherzer’s performance, it’s easy to see why the Nationals wouldn’t want to part with him. However, the future is calling. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and seven-time All-Star is in the final year of his contract. If they don’t cash in on him now, they will lose the opportunity to gain valuable assets to put towards a rebuild.
Letting him walk without getting valuable assets in return via trade would be a bad move.