It seemed that Max Scherzer was heading to San Diego Padres for a few hours Thursday. At 1 p.m. PST, reports began to circulate that the Padres were close to acquiring the three time Cy Young Award winner. There was just 24 hours before the trade deadline. Scherzer, who was accepting the fact that his time with Washington Nationals was ending abruptly, began to hear rumblings from his teammates. He hadn't received a call yet from Mike Rizzo the Nationals' general manger.
Scherzer stated that "rumours are rumors until they actually become facts." "The fact that Twitter was going crazy and I didn't get a call from it, made me realize something was wrong. It is what it is. While you can't always trust Twitter, it is usually quite good."
Just four hours later, Scherzer's teammate Trea Turner, shortstop, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal was reached by the close of the night. It was agreed to on Friday. Scherzer was officially signed by the Dodgers in Phoenix on Saturday. On Wednesday, Scherzer will make his Dodgers debut in the second game of a highly anticipated series against the Houston Astros.
Scherzer stated that "it's great to join these guys because there is a great chance of winning," but it will take a lot more work to get there. There is no guarantee.
Because of his 10-and-5 rights, Scherzer could veto any trade (10 years of major league service time and five consecutive years with one organization), Rizzo was clear that the Nationals' 5-17 start in July meant that he had to "give a facelift" to the organization, to "provide resources."
Scherzer, 37 years old, stated that he was going "crazy" trying decide what next step to take. He provided a list to choose from, rather than choosing a team to which he would trade to. He wanted to make sure he was still in the National League and that his pitching location was in a warm area, as he would be joining the team for only two to three months. He pitched six innings on Thursday, his last start with the Nationals. This was largely due to industry concerns about the triceps problem that forced him to miss a previous turn in the rotation.
He was on his way back from Philadelphia when he heard that he was headed to the Dodgers. They are the reigning World Series champions and lead the majors with run-differential, but trail the San Francisco Giants by 3 1/2 matches. Albert Pujols welcomed Scherzer to the clubhouse with a hug.
Scherzer said via videoconference, Tuesday, "Crazy" about the past week. "Crazy" is a great understatement. It was easier when there were no kids, dogs or everything. But now, with three children and four dogs, it's much more stressful. We are bringing the circus from D.C. to L.A., and we will do our best to make it there as quickly as possible.
Scherzer, whose acquisition was almost a necessity due to the uncertainty surrounding Trevor Bauer's alleged sexual assault, joins a clubhouse which also includes Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and David Price, as well as Pujols, a sextet who have combined for six MVPs (and seven Cy Young Awards).
Scherzer's 2013-2020 season includes 131 wins and eight All-Star Game invitations. He also has a 2.86 ERA. With 48 FanGraphs wins, Scherzer is the leader in majors. Kershaw is right behind him, having 45.4.
Scherzer spoke highly of Kershaw, saying that "Obviously what he has done in his career is remarkable." We came from the same draft class in 2006, and it was great to compete against him. You try to match his abilities. We're going to be on the same team, and we will be competing for the same prize. I'm sure that as we continue to progress, we'll be sharing more tips and tricks, and being able to recognize other situations.
Scherzer joins the Dodgers as the end of a $70-million, seven-year contract he signed in January 2015 with the Nationals. Scherzer's performance exceeded all expectations. In 2019, the Nationals beat the Astros to win their first and only World Series title. The Nationals are now in a transitional period with Scherzer's exit.
Scherzer stated that the flags will fly forever. "Everybody spends time in D.C. and everybody works hard to get the banner there. It's something that we will always remember. It was an honor to have been a part of that team, and to finally be able to win the World Series. The end result is to win the World Series.